What does my dad need to do to make me the new owner of his old house?

3 answers | Last updated: Sep 16, 2016
Homeless son asked...

my dads old home is just sitting and now he wants to give to me what steps do we need to go thru to make this happen

Expert Answers

You ask what your dad needs to do to make you the owner of his old house. The answer is he can simply give it to you. To do that, he needs to prepare a deed transferring legal ownership of the house to you, and have that deed notarized. Then he must record that deed at Recorder's Office for the county where the house is located. Plus the state or County may have other forms that need to be filed when the deed is recorded.

If you father's interest in the house is worth more than $13,000, he would technically (and legally) be making a federal taxable gift of that property. In theory, he would be required to file a federal gift-tax return. No tax would be due, because, as of now, he could transfer property worth up to $5 million before tax must actually be paid.

A more serious concern would arise if the house had risen significantly in value since your father bought it. If that's true, federal rules on "stepped-up basis" mean it would be better , from a capital gains tax viewpoint, to inherit the house after your father's death, rather than receive it now while he's alive. The stepped-up basis rules are somewhat complicated, and this may not be of concern to you. It would not affect your father one way or the other. So I won't bother to explain the stepped-up basis" tax rules. You can always google that if you want to learn about it.

Community Answers

Sho b answered...

Hello "homeless son," Thank you for sharing your question with our community of caregivers. While you wait for an answer from another member of the Caring.com Community, here are a few resources you may find helpful as you search for answers on this topic:

  1. Estate Planning Resource Center: https://www.caring.com/estate-planning
  2. Should my mom put my sister's name on the deed to her home?: https://www.caring.com/questions/change-name-on-deed
  3. How do we transfer the deed to a home that currently has a deceased person's name on it?: https://www.caring.com/questions/how-do-we-transfer-the-deed-to-a-home-that-currently-has-a-deceased-person-name-on-it
  4. How do I transfer deed to my father's house to my name?: https://www.caring.com/questions/transfer-deed

You may also consider consulting and Elder Law Attorney to help you sort through your legal choices. You may find an Elder Law Attorney through our Senior Living Directory: https://www.caring.com/local/elder-law-attorneys When the time is right, we encourage you to write and rate any attorney's or professional care providers you have had experience with: https://www.caring.com/review_submissions/new?utm_source=community

Kind regards, Sho of the Caring.com Community Team

Recorderist answered...

As I understand it, if your Dad ever tries and succeeds in getting on medicaid, the government can garnish or reclaim any significant gift up to 5 years previous---to help cover his medical expenses. Better he sell it to you on a very low/long-term pay-off basis with no interest?? Ask an estate attorney!