How A Wedding Can Override Parent's Title Rights

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Key Takeaway
When a parent and child own a home together, if the child lives in the home with their spouse, it can alter the parent's ownership rights.

The concept of a parent and child purchasing a home together is becoming more common.

And as this happens, there are serious implications to talk about when it comes to ownership rights.

Let's use a scenario:

A parent and child buy a home together.

Often, they purchase it as "joint tenants"... remember this term? It means if one of them dies, the other becomes the sole owner. Right of Survivorship.

But what if the child gets married and lives in the home with their spouse?

According to the Family Law Act, if the child dies before the parent, that right of survivorship won't take effect.

Instead, the joint tenancy is "severed" immediately before death.

This means that the child's share in the property (assumably 50%) goes to their estate, instead of automatically to the parent.

This isn't what the parent and child intended.

And there's a good chance that they never considered this scenario, because what parent wants to think about their child dying.

But in that unfortunate situation - the property rights that the parent thought they had, are changed.

As a REALTOR®, you're not responsible for advising clients on ownership structures.

But this knowledge is a way to prove your value as their agent and raise a concern that they may have never considered.

If it leads to them having a full discussion about property rights with their lawyer, then you've done your job well.

Written by
Zachary Soccio-Marandola
Real Estate Lawyer

Direct: (647) 797-6881

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