Passing my Townhouse to my husband after death:
My husband and I each have wills which leave everything to each other. We have individual accounts and all are titled POD to each other. We have no children or inheritors. Only the townhouse is in my name only. What is the advantage of retitling in both our names JTWRS. Are there tax implications and must everything go through probate?
5 Answers from Attorneys
Putting the title into JTWROS has the advantage of avoiding probate at the first death, as the property would pass to the survivor automatically. There are no gift/estate/income tax issues for transfers between spouses.
You do need to take into consideration any impact transfers might have on your medicaid eligibility and other elder planning. Consult an elder lawyer before making any transfers. Your estates will have to be probated, although many of your assets will not be probate assets. Probate merely means having your wills filed and your estates administered. There are always some assets that need to be administered.
THIS RESPONSE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, SINCE I DO NOT HAVE ALL OF THE INFORMATION THAT WOULD BE REQUIRED, AND I DO NOT HAVE A REPRESENTATION AGREEMENT WITH YOU.
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You may change the deed as you wish, the new deed and recording is not expensive. However, if there is a mortgage on the property, the Bank would have to be contacted and provide consent. Considering only the information provided above it appears that you would be exempt from The NJ Realty Transfer Fee. Please feel free to call my office to discuss further. Best regards, Keith A. Singer, Esq. 732-749-3700
All of the authors are correct and have provided accurate and diverse information. However, there is a tax implication not discussed. If you add your husband's name to the current Deed you have theoretically made him a gift of the value he recerives (no real gift tax implication except if the property has a high valuation). However, he then takes a share of your original cost and if the property is subsequently sold there may be income tax consequences depending upon the realized profit (net sales price compared to original cost and improvements). If he inherited your house he would be eligible to "step up" his cost basis to its value at your date of death. This may avoid or reduced income taxes upon a future sale.
You have received several answers from attorneys. Please contact an attorney near you and get some advice!
Please contact me if you are in my area.
Robert Davies, Esq.
201 820 3460