JEANNE REARDON - Attorney at Law
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Real Estate Law Blog

How to Add Someone to the Deed of My New York Home as a Joint Owner


There are many reasons you may want to add someone to the title of your home. Maybe you just got married and would like your new spouse listed as part owner of your home. Or you may want to add an adult child to your title for estate planning purposes.

Whatever the reason, you will need to retain an attorney, experienced in real estate, to draft a new deed conveying  your home  to yourself and the person you wish to add to your title. In addition to the deed, your attorney will also need to prepare transfer tax returns. While there is no transfer tax due on conveyances which are considered gifts, (i.e. no money given for the conveyance) the returns must still be prepared and filed with the county clerk when the deed is recorded.

Review your mortgage documents or contact your lender before initiating the process to change your deed. If you transfer your interest in the property, or a share of it, to someone else without the lender's permission, it may exercise the loan's due-on-sale clause. Even if the person you're adding doesn't give you money for ownership in your property, the lender still may view the transfer of ownership as a sale and can demand payment in full. Depending on your financial situation, this issue may cause you to reconsider making the addition. If your mortgage contains a due upon sale clause, talk to your lender about adding someone to your deed. Some financial institutions give consent, allowing you to add another person to your property deed without requiring you pay off your loan.

How your new deed is drafted will determine your type of joint ownership. There are three ways to take title to the deed in New York depending on the language used in your deed, and they are as follows: (1) joint tenants with rights of survivorship, (2) tenants in common, or (3) tenants by the entirety. Your attorney can advise you as to which type of joint ownership is appropriate in your case.

The Law Office of Jeanne M. Reardon assists New York property owners with strategies to protect and pass on their homes and real estate investments. To speak with an experienced New York deed attorney, call us at (516) 314-8433 or e-mail us. To learn more about our deed transfer services visit us at:  www.jreardonlaw.com/Deed-Transfer.html