While buying and selling a home may be considered routine and simple, the results can be anything but that if you are in a relationship and don’t understand how a title can affect you. As part of an overall family plan, purchasers should obtain legal advice about both the short term and long term effects of how the title is taken to a property, within the particular circumstances of their relationship.
All too frequently, purchasers understand only the immediate effect of how the title is taken. In some cases, there is no real discussion about how the title is taken at all! A more nuanced understanding is necessary to understand how title may affect you if you are in a relationship.
At its simplest, title is usually taken solely, as joint tenants, or as tenants in common. Joint tenants enjoy an automatic right of survivorship in the event of the death of the other(s). Tenants in common may designate which proportion of the property they own, and their share may be dealt with as they wish.
But the following circumstances can create significant and expensive long term issues if not addressed at the time of purchase or transfer:
- if the purchasers do not invest in the property equally;
- if one purchaser contributes all of the money but the property is put in both names;
- if the purchasers contribute equally but the home is put into one of their names only;
- if someone already owns the home, and then transfers it into both names;
- if someone already owns the home, and then transfers it all to someone else.
Any of the above situations can result in unforeseen and undesirable interest in property that is not reflected by title, known as a resulting trust, or constructive trust, interest. It is important that purchasers have a good understanding of what title could mean for them if they are in a relationship.
If you are buying or selling a home, or simply refinancing your current property, Brown Law Firm can assist you.
Brown Law Firm offers the following services related to Residential Real Estate:
- Spousal or third party transfers
Purchase and Mortgage: $850*
Sale and discharge: $800*
Spousal transfer: $350*
To learn more about our services related to Residential Real Estate, please contact us!