How do I add my spouse to the deed on my property? Well, it’s fairly easy in that you simply sign a new deed and you can bay the property to you and your spouse. Which brings us to, what does that accomplish legally? It creates what they call a tenancy by the entireties which is a biblical concept that’s been carried over from the English common law into the Florida law and it is Florida specific as to how it’s treated, although there are seven other states I think that recognize tenancy by the entireties. The bible says that when you become married, when you’re married you become as one and that’s the concept of tenancy by the entireties. That gives you the right of survivorship. In Florida in particular, it also is a simple way to have some asset protection so that if anyone would get a judgment just against one spouse, they cannot attach the property that is held as tenancy by the entireties.
Most property that is held by husband and wife, that creates a tenancy by the entireties whenever you show you’re married as husband and wife. That protects a real property held that way. What a lot of folks don’t know about is that you can also set your bank accounts up in that same manner, but you need to ask the bank on the signature card do they offer tenants by the entireties accounts? If they do you need to be sure to check that box rather than joint tenants with right of survivorship.
Joint tenants with right of survivorship means that each of you own a one half interest in the property and it can be attached. By going back to the simple question is how do I add my spouse to the deed to my property is you simply sign a new deed. One pitfall, or an unattended consequence of doing that is if you have a mortgage on the property, unfortunately the Department of Revenue at this point requires you to pay documentary stamps at $7 per thousand based upon one half of the mortgage amount. There is going to be some proposed legislation which allows you to waive that, but right now that’s not what the law is and so whenever you do that, the cost of the deed is relatively a few hundred dollars. However, if there’s a mortgage on it that can cost you a substantial amount depending on the amount of your mortgage.
If you’d like to add your spouse to the title of the property and put it in your name as husband and wife, which I would recommend, give me a call at 727-847-2288.