Q: When my husband and I purchased our Georgia home in 2002, I wasn’t working. The loan and title are in his name only. Is there any way to put my name on the title in case anything should ever happen to him? Is this something that could cause a problem for me if he should die?
A: In most states, you shouldn’t have a problem having your husband transfer the title of the home from his name alone to him and to you as husband and wife with rights of survivorship.
If you and your husband have an agreement as to how the two of you should own the home, you should make sure to hold title in the manner you desire. This is particularly true if you decide to work with an estate planner or an estate attorney and create a living trust to hold the property. Then, you can put the title into the name of that trust.
If you decide to transfer title to both of you, you will need to have a document prepared to transfer title from your husband to the two of you or to an estate planning trust. In some cases, most people will transfer title using a quit claim deed, but in some cases a warranty deed may be a better option.
Both a quit claim deed and a warranty deed documents can achieve the same result but a warranty deed may carry forward the protections the owner of property had under his or her title insurance policy that he or she obtained when they purchased the property and carry forward that protection, subject to the terms of the title insurance policy, to the new owners.
In some states, a quit claim deed is not the right document to use. In some of those states where quit claim deeds are not generally uses, there are other documents, under different names, that can do the same job for you.
Your real estate attorney or estate attorney can advise you further.