Should husband add wife's name to the deed?


Carla: I want to have my name added to a property that I currently live in with my husband.  We’ve been married for about eight years now. And when we married, I had my own home. After we were married we moved into my husband’s home.

Carla: Should I ask my husband to add my name to the deed to the home that we currently live in?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Carla, adding your name to the deed would be a great idea. It would mean that, if your husband died, the home would belong to you. If your name is not added to the deed you, might likely end up with a life estate if your husband died. You would have the use of the property for the rest of your lifetime and then, upon your death, it would go to his children. So it depends on what he wants. If he says, “Carla, someday when I die I want you to own this home outright”, then adding your name to the deed would be a great idea.

Carla: Okay. But you’re saying, if my name is not added to the home, in the event that he dies, I would still be able to live in the home with my children.

Attorney Tom Olsen: You would, Carla. It depends on what his wills says but if he has no will you would have a life estate, a right to live there for the rest of your life. And if he has a will it says, “When I die, everything goes to Carla.” Well then the home’s going to go to you outright but it’s going to require a probate process to get there. So Carla, I hope you understand what I’m saying and if you’re unclear about it you are welcome to call us at our office next week at 407-423-5561. We could assist you with that.