Adding People to Title for Multiple Residence Property

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My husband and I are on title and loan to a piece of property with 4 homes on it. We want to add 3 people to title. Can we do this if they are not on the loan? Also, any advice as to where I can find information as to how to hold title? Each party wants their percentage to go to next of kin and not to the rest of us on title.

This is a property that my family all live on. Basically we all bought it but we couldn't put all of them on loan for various reasons. We do have a sort of "operating agreement" going for maintenance and stuff like that, so I just want to know if they can be added to title so it's all official.

There are significant perils in this, especially since you're the only one on the loan. I can envision half a dozen scenarios where you end up liable for the loan even though you no longer own the property, or end up only owning a smaller piece of the property. Nobody likes to consider ending up in court opposite a family member, but family members are much more likely a legal adversary than complete strangers. This stuff happens every day. Partition suits aren't exactly uncommon. I suspect a certain number of them may even be manufactured, because a multi-residence property may be more valuable as multiple legally separate lots.

Quitclaiming is easy, and requires no permission from anyone, but you really need to understand the consequences of what you intend to do before you do it. Furthermore, there's more than one way to hold title, each of which means different things. Joint Tenants, Tenants in Common, trust, corporation, partnership, etcetera. You need to choose a form of ownership that protects you, while still serving your needs.

I'd seriously suggest getting a partnership or corporation agreement executed first, and quitclaiming that way, but you really need to pay a real estate attorney for some advice, first, and you'll be better off following their advice than mine.

Not that I'm a big fan of lawyers. But the hour of time you pay for now will likely save you at least a million dollars down the road, from the type of property you're talking about. Ounce of prevention and all that.

Caveat Emptor


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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on October 30, 2007 7:00 AM.

Real Estate: Know What Can Be Fixed and What Can't, What's Profitable and What Isn't was the previous entry in this blog.

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