What benefit may there be in having dad transfer deed to home to my mom instead of doing nothing since they have a survivor deed
3 attorney answers
I respectfully disagree with my esteemed colleagues to a very minor degree. If Dad deeds the house to Mom today, it is over and done with, the house belongs to Mom, and nothing more need be done after Dad's death. If Mom and Dad leave the house in survivorship tenancy, then after Dad's death, Mom will have to record a certified copy of Dad's death certificate, along with an affidavit stating that she survived him. The result is the same, but the question is whether Dad would prefer to do it now, or let Mom do it after his death.
The more important things are making sure he has a Will, along with the two primary heath care decision-making documents: Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will. Depending on his status, you may also want to speak with his doctor or with hospice about a "DNR-CC" (Do Not Resuscitate-Comfort Care) designation.
Depending on the nature and levels of your parents' assets, there may also be an advantage in transferring appreciated stocks into your father's name so that at his death they will receive a full step-up in income tax basis, which will not happen if such assets are jointly owned.
It doesn't much matter whether the deed is transferred now to your mother, or it is transferred upon your father's death. I understand that lots of folks don't want to pay lawyers for advice, but now would be a good time to consult with an expert estate planning or elder care attorney.
Mr. Huddleston is an Ohio-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, with offices in Columbus and Dayton, serving client families and private business owners throughout Ohio. Mr. Huddleston responds to Avvo questions as a public service to help educate and provide general guidance to questioners, but his responses are not legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship.
If your parents have a survivorship deed, there is no benefit for your dad doing this now. Truly, it would only be a reminder to him that the end is near.
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