If I purchase a house or property and put my child’s name on it, will this be counted as a gift?
Well, the answer is yes, you’re gifting them an interest in property. So when do you need to worry about gifting property to your children is if you would decide to apply for Medicaid. That may disqualify you for the amount of the gift if it happens within five years that you apply for Medicaid. Sometimes, people call me or want to do this in order to avoid probate, and they want to add their child’s name to a deed as joint tenants with right of survivorship. I did not suggest doing this. There’s life estate deeds or ladybird deeds that can take care of avoiding probate whenever you hold title jointly with your children. The problem is, they now own a half-interest in the property, subject to any creditors’ claims that your children may have. So it’s somewhat problematic, even worse if your children are minors. Then you won’t be able to sell it unless you have a guardianship, possibly. So it’s not a particularly good idea. So, the idea is to say what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you trying to avoid probate by doing this? What is the purpose?
So if you have a question about that before you add your child’s name to a deed or purchase property in their name, give me a call at 727-847-2288.