New deeds will need to be prepared, but this is not something that should not be done without consulting with an attorney. There are income and gift tax issues, as well other potential issues, such as Medicaid, that need to be considered.
Your mother can deed the houses to you and your sister. To deed the house in New Jersey, you should consult a lawyer there. On the Florida property, you should consult a Florida lawyer. Among the questions your lawyer will need to answer are: Is your mother competent to execute a deed? Does your mother want to maintain control of the property or live in it during her lifetime? Is the property homestead? Is your mother married.
The answers to these questions will determine how your lawyer prepares the deeds you need.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.
Each of the other attorneys has raised valid points to consider. Your mother should be obtaining independent legal advice about the proposed transfers, both here and with a New Jersey attorney. Her attorneys should not only be familiar with real estate law but elder law as well.
Answers to questions on this site are not intended to be specific legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship. Hiring an attorney is a very important process which requires a high degree of diligence as well as entering into an agreement regarding the services to be provided and the fees to be charged.
Technically, since the homes belong to your mother, SHE needs to contact an elder law, wills and trusts attorney where she lives to draft a proper agreement that will effectuate HER intentions as to the homes. As Attorney Deason mentions, there are many questions that need sorting out to ensure that the result is one that is best for HER - not necessarily you and your sister! Have your Mom see a good attorney if this is something that she wishes to do.
Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : email@example.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.
In most cases, "signing over" real estate may not be a good idea. The first problem is that "signing over" property is a gift, both for IRS and Medicaid qualification purposes. Gift tax is usually no problem since there is currently a $5,000,000 exclusion for life time gifts. However, it the mother has to apply for Medicaid in the next five years, a penalty will be imposed for the transfer.
Also, if the house is her residence and it has to be sold, there will be no capital gain exclusion unless the buyer has lived in it for two out of the last five years when it is sold.
Also, you will lose step up in basis. If the house is gifted, the person receiving the gift also receives the donor's cost basis. That means if the house is sold there could be more capital gain tax that if the house were inherited.