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Reasons for Changing Tenancy on a Deed after Marriage

Nowadays, many couples buy a house before getting married.  Quite frequently, we get asked about whether or not the deed should be updated to reflect their new marital status.  Doing so can be done for several reasons, each with its own legal implications and advantages. Here are some common reasons for changing tenancy on a deed after marriage:

Protecting the surviving spouse:

Many couples choose to change the tenancy from “Tenants in Common” to “Tenants by the Entirety with Right of Survivorship” to ensure that if one spouse passes away, the surviving spouse automatically inherits the property without going through probate.

Simplifying inheritance:

Changing the tenancy to tenancy by the entirety can simplify the transfer of property upon the death of a spouse, making it easier for the surviving spouse to inherit the property.

Asset protection:

For some couples, changing the tenancy to tenancy by the entirety can provide protection against creditors or legal judgments against one spouse while still allowing both spouses to live in the property.

Estate planning:

Adjusting the tenancy may be part of a broader estate planning strategy to ensure that the property passes to the intended heirs or beneficiaries according to the couple’s wishes.

Tax planning:

Changing the tenancy may have tax implications. For example, it could affect the capital gains tax treatment when selling the property, so couples may choose to make changes that minimize tax liability.

It’s essential to consult with a qualified attorney when making changes to a real property deed, as the specific laws and regulations governing tenancy and property ownership can vary by jurisdiction. It is important for the deed to be prepared properly to hold up to any future scrutiny.  Also, equally important is using a company experienced in property recording the deed.  Federal Title & Escrow Company has a staff of experienced attorneys to help you.  Please reach out to to get started.

Deed Transfers, real estate, Tips or Advice