Adding a Minor Child to a Real Estate Title

What are the issues with adding a minor child to a real estate title?  It seems like an easy way to let children inherit real estate.  

First, once on the title, it is very difficult to refinance or to convey the title out of the child’s name. Any deed signed by a minor is voidable, and parents may not sign on behalf of their children.  

To convey the title out of a child’s name, the court must appoint a conservator to represent the child’s best interests. It is often not in the child’s best interest to sell the house, refinance, or convey the title back to a parent.  

The only other option is to wait until the child is legally competent (18 years old in most states) and have the child sign a deed then.  

This is another reason to have a clear and concise will describing how you want your heirs to inherit your assets.  Adding children to the title can waste a lot of time and money that would be better spent making a proper estate plan instead. 

John C. Bennett is a real estate closing attorney and owner of Origin Title and Escrow, Inc.. Since 2003, Origin Title has handled real estate transactions – purchases, refinances, reverse mortgages – quickly and professionally. There will be no surprises, nothing misunderstood. Title searches are thorough and well-reasoned, to avoid unpleasant surprises later down the road. Calculate your closing costs in Georgia or Florida using our calculator or contact Origin Title using this form.