LOS ANGELES (Feb 9.) - WARNING. Adding one of your children to the title to your home could have disastrous consequences.
We want you to fully understand the impact of your decision to add a child to your title of your property and how dangerous it can be for you and for them.
First. If your child should be involved in an accident or is sued and he/she is on title, the equity in the home could be accessed by a creditor. No one knows when an accident or false claim may be lodged against your child that could result in a judgment against him or her. We highly discourage this practice.
Second, if you have more than one child and you wish to exclude other children from your inheritance, these deeds create a great risk that your child will be sued potentially for undue influence and possible elder abuse. But the reality is that it happens over and over again when siblings are excluded. Avoid costly probate litigation and lawsuits. By creating a revocable living trust so you can state your decision to exclude other children from inheriting to avoid any litigation against your child. Give your child the protection he deserves by doing a revocable living trust.
Third, if you have more than one child and it was your wish that this one child share with the other children after you have died, you should not add any of your children to your title. The reality is that no parent likes to think that their child would not honor their parents' wishes to share with siblings. But i see it over and over again. Signing this deed has the effect of excluding all other children and there is nothing in the law that would protect their rights under this deed. A revocable living trust protects all of the children by passing the property into the trust. This would allow you to designate your child to be the trustee and hold the property for the benefit of all of your children if that is your desire.
Fourth, the negative consequences are that even if your child were to honor sharing the benefit of this home with siblings, adding siblings to the title from this point forward is likely to result in a reassessment for tax purposes substantially increasing property taxes that you currently pay rendering them impossible to pay on your current income. A transfer to a trust allows you to change your mind while you are alive to add or exclude any of your children at will without any tax consequences.
Doing nothing can have even worse results. A will by itself or doing nothing will require that your heirs will have to go through a very expensive Probate Proceeding.
Plan your Estate, or the State will Plan it For you. Don't leave behind a nightmare for your loved ones by not taking the time of putting them in the best position possible. Please obtain legal counsel to determine your best options.