How to Add a Husband's Name to the Deed or Leave the House to Him in a Will

By Elizabeth Stock

If your husband is not on the deed to your home, you might want to add him as a joint owner. Having both spouses on a title makes the administration of your estate easier upon your death and might help your family save money by avoiding probate fees. You can keep your property out of probate and ensure that your spouse maintains ownership of your home after your death by adding your spouse to the title using a quitclaim deed.

Probate

Probate is the court procedure for the distribution of an individual’s estate upon death. Whether or not you die with a valid will in place, the distribution of your estate’s assets may be overseen by the probate court in your state to ensure your property is distributed according to the terms of your will or your state’s intestacy laws. If you leave your home to your spouse in a will, it will most likely need to go through the probate process. Probate can take a long time, and the legal fees and court costs can quickly add up, making probate expensive. However, only property owned by the deceased individual alone will pass through probate. If you jointly own property, it will pass to the joint owner without going through probate.

Joint Tenancy

Property held by two or more individuals with a right of survivorship is referred to as joint tenancy. Right of survivorship means the deceased person's interest in the property passes immediately to the remaining owner upon the death of a joint tenant, without the submission of paperwork to the court to transfer ownership. In addition, many states recognize a tenancy by the entirety which is a joint tenancy that is only available between spouses. Holding the title to the home in a joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety can help your spouse avoid probate upon your death.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed is often used to add a spouse's name to the title of property because it does not require a search of the public land records. Unlike a warranty deed, a quitclaim deed does not warrant that the grantor holds title to the property. Instead, a quitclaim deed transfers whatever ownership the grantor has in the property to the grantee. To add a spouse to the property and create a right of survivorship in which you hold the property as joint tenants or tenants in the entirety, a new deed must be drafted.

Deed Elements

A quitclaim deed naming your spouse as joint owner replaces the current deed. To draft a new quitclaim deed, list yourself both as grantor and grantee. In addition, you must specify in the deed that you and your spouse wish to hold the property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. The deed must include the legal description of your property. You can find the legal description of your property by referring to your original deed. File the deed in your county recorder's office. Some states may require that an attorney draft and file the deed for you.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to Add a Beneficiary to a Mortgage Deed
 

References

Related articles

What Are the Rules for Changing a Living Trust After a Spouse Dies?

A living trust is a legal vehicle you can use to transfer property upon your death that avoids probate. If you and your spouse create a living trust together, you need your spouse's permission to change trust terms. After your spouse dies, you can only change the part of the trust that relates to your property.

How to Write a Deed With Power of Attorney

A real estate deed is a document representing legal ownership of a parcel of real estate. To transfer ownership of real estate, a new deed must be drawn up in favor of the purchaser or grantee. Normally, the seller, or grantor, must sign the new deed to transfer ownership. However, it is possible for a third party to execute a valid signature on a real estate deed, as long as the seller, or grantor, has executed an appropriately-worded power of attorney authorizing an agent to do so.

Can You Pass Your Timeshare to Your Heirs?

A timeshare is a luxury item that many timeshare owners would like to transfer to their heirs at death. Generally, a timeshare can be transferred at death, unless the timeshare agreement provides otherwise. Ownership of a timeshare is established by way of a deed, a lease or a contract. There are a number of ways a timeshare can be transferred at death.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

How to Protect Your Assets From Probate

Probate is a time-consuming process that can tie up your property for months and disclose the contents of your estate ...

How to Get a Copy of a Probated Will

A copy of a probated will is useful for a variety of reasons, including family tree research, property title research, ...

How to Prepare Your Own Will & Beneficiary Deed in Missouri

A will is a legal instrument that tells the probate court how to distribute your assets after you die. Because the ...

The Pros & Cons of Making a Will

A will is a written legal document that describes how you would like to distribute your property after you die. ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED