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Can you put a minor child on a deed for a House?

Fort Worth, TX |

I want to know if you can put a minor child on a deed for a house.

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Filed under: Estates Trustee
Attorney answers 1


NO! An individual under the age of 18 years is not able to own property or enter into contracts.

While most financial institutions open a Uniform Transfer To Minors Act account for minors (preferable to a Uniform Gift to Minors Act account), real property should be held by a trustee in a trust for a minor. The problem with a UTMA account is that the child is entitled to the assets at the age off 21 (the UGMA account requires the child to receive the assets at age 18).

You may, depending on the reason for placing the child's name on the deed and your gamble that you will live to see the child reach age 18, put the property in your name and "transfer on death" to the child, but I really do not recommend this.

A custodian of an UTMA must be named, and it is prudent to name a successor in your Will. A trustee of a trust, which may be you, may be revocable and gives you the right to reside in the residence (if a house), also needs to have a successor named for the time when yoou are unable to manage your affairs, for any reason, as well as to be certain the property does not pass to the child until after attaining at least the age of 18. Obviously an 18 year old lacks the maturity to manage financial matters regardless of maturity.

Please consult a local attorney.