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How can our dad gift his house to his kids before Jan 1/13? Would it be enough for him to sign a statement with his lawyer?

Point Roberts, WA |

He has no mortgage and has lived there over 15 years.

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Attorney answers 3


This is an issue for your dad and his lawyer. If there is any hint that this transaction is your idea rather than his, it will not stand scrutiny, especially if he is older and possibly has capacity issues.
Real property cannot be conveyed by "statement", only by deed or will. The encumbrances on the property are irrelevant and so is the length of his residency.

Elizabeth Powell

Using Avvo does not form an attorney client relationship.


In WA, to convey interest in real property is simple: prepare the correct forms meeting the formatting requirements and present the forms for recording at the appropriate office.

There is no requirement to publish any notice in a newspaper or another place. There is no requirement to wait if there is no loan involved.

Preparing the documents and recording them can be done in the same day (or even hour) if everyone is ready and the recording office is open.

If your father has an attorney, your father can review the specific facts with his attorney. If his attorney thinks what your father wants done is a good idea, the attorney likely will help your father achieves his goals.

While there are only two (possibly, one) business days left before 1 January, there likely is still enough time if your father really wants this done.

Of course, rushing to transfer properties before tax rates allegedly will go up may turn out to be a bad financial decision. This is why your father needs time to think through the consequences of transferring the property.


If your father has a lawyer, this should be a conversation they have with one another. Hopefully, his attorney is experienced with estate planning. That being said, unless you want the appearance on impropriety, this should remain between your father and his attorney. You do not want to have a later fight based on your exerting undue influence over him.

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