Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

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Andymoler58
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Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Andymoler58 »

HI,

I had a quick question and I'm looking for guidance for my mother. She purchased 100% of a house in cash but she mistakenly put her boyfriend on the deed.

He said it was no big deal and he would simply move out if they broke up. Well, they have now broken up and he now thinks he's entitled to 50% of the house. He put no money up on the house and of course he's going back on his word because he's down on his luck right now and needs some money.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Legally, does he have a case for half the house? Is this something where a lawyer needs to be involved?

Any help or guidance would be much appreciated.
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dm200
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by dm200 »

Andymoler58 wrote:HI,
I had a quick question and I'm looking for guidance for my mother. She purchased 100% of a house in cash but she mistakenly put her boyfriend on the deed.
He said it was no big deal and he would simply move out if they broke up. Well, they have now broken up and he now thinks he's entitled to 50% of the house. He put no money up on the house and of course he's going back on his word because he's down on his luck right now and needs some money.
Does anyone have any experience with this? Legally, does he have a case for half the house? Is this something where a lawyer needs to be involved?
Any help or guidance would be much appreciated.
Run - do not walk - to an attorney experienced in such matters.

I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV - but sure seems to me that if his name is on the deed, how owns half the house. While running to an attorney, check to see the exact form of joint ownership, because thatr could make a big difference. For example, is it joint tenants with survivorship, joint tenants in common, or something else.

Also, did he sign anythng related to owning half the house?

What makes you think that she "mistakenly" did this? I don't know the details, but it sure sounds like it was no unintentional "mistake" at the time. Sounds like she intended for him to be joint owner on the deed and it is only a "mistake" with 20/20 hindsight.
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by RenoJay »

Agreed. Get the facts (including who invested what, who paid the mortgage, etc.) and get to an attorney. Perhaps a letter from an attorney that the ex will need to go to court to defend his claim (i.e. spend money on lawyers when he's down on his luck) along with an offer of a small payout if he simply walks away will get him out of your mom's life.
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Twins Fan »

I am no expert here, so...

But, I agree tell her to see a lawyer ASAP. Having paid cash for the house (no mortgage records) and both names on the deed sure makes it sound like THEIR house. I've never paid cash for a house, but I imagine there's some sort of closing paperwork still? Was it just mom signing all that, or both of them? Start looking for and gathering any and everything that might show it was just her that paid for it.

They/he should have done a quit claim to get his name off there long ago if it was no big deal. I also don't see how his name was mistakenly put on the deed. Stinks she is in this spot, but mom seems to share some responsibility here also. A lawyer may be a small price to pay compared to what it could take to get out of this mess.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by ResearchMed »

dm200 wrote:
Andymoler58 wrote:HI,
I had a quick question and I'm looking for guidance for my mother. She purchased 100% of a house in cash but she mistakenly put her boyfriend on the deed.
He said it was no big deal and he would simply move out if they broke up. Well, they have now broken up and he now thinks he's entitled to 50% of the house. He put no money up on the house and of course he's going back on his word because he's down on his luck right now and needs some money.
Does anyone have any experience with this? Legally, does he have a case for half the house? Is this something where a lawyer needs to be involved?
Any help or guidance would be much appreciated.
Run - do not walk - to an attorney experienced in such matters.

I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV - but sure seems to me that if his name is on the deed, how owns half the house. While running to an attorney, check to see the exact form of joint ownership, because thatr could make a big difference. For example, is it joint tenants with survivorship, joint tenants in common, or something else.

Also, did he sign anythng related to owning half the house?

What makes you think that she "mistakenly" did this? I don't know the details, but it sure sounds like it was no unintentional "mistake" at the time. Sounds like she intended for him to be joint owner on the deed and it is only a "mistake" with 20/20 hindsight.
First, I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY.

Encourage your mother to RUN, DO NOT PASS 'GO', DO NOT COLLECT $200... to a GOOD attorney.

All of the things that dm200 is mentioning are important, as is, most likely, a lot of other documentation (or lack thereof).

Unfortunately, it's easy to think "at the time" that everything will be lovey dovey, and of course, one wants to co-own the home...
... until things aren't lovey dovey.

But HOPEFULLY there is some documentation that would demonstrate that this was not the actual agreement, and it was indeed an error, although it seems to be a bit of a peculiar one.

For example, did *he* actually sign any documents? Deed? Offer?
How exactly is it that he actually has his name on the deed?
Who was a witness to these documents, for example?

One concern is that putting a second name on a deed is an act of commission (writing that name) vs an act of omission (forgetting to put a name somewhere, which could, one might imagine, more easily happen).

On the other hand, there is *so* much paperwork when closing...
Is she claiming that she was tricked? (If so, whose handwriting is it?)

These are things for an attorney to look into asap.

Is he still living there?
If so, getting him out could be tricky for a while.

IF it is possible, she should try not to speak with him about this until she's got advice from an attorney, and then, perhaps any communication should go through the attorney, so he can't twist words, etc.

I really hope this is fixed easily, because otherwise, it could get very expensive, and also unpleasant.

This is a truly unfortunate situation, however it occurred.

NOTE: The "problem" really doesn't have very much to do with the fact that they aren't married. The problem is whose name is on what, and who is claiming what.
Simply co-owning a home with someone other than a spouse isn't necessarily a problem at all.
(Perhaps you could retitle this?)

RM
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Twins Fan »

Getting him out if he's still living there would be real tricky.

It's seemingly his house according to the deed. There's no mortgage or rent being paid. I don't even know what grounds for eviction mom could use. It would have to go through the courts for sure, as this may well end up anyway.

Did he ever pay your mom any rent, or any sort of records like that?
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dm200
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by dm200 »

Again, NOT AN ATTORNEY, but I recall (something like this) that a verbal contract is (or may be) binding UNLESS it relates to real estate, when it is not binding.
On a certain "common sense" level, how is being "giving" joint ownership in a house different than "giving" someone joint ownership in a large bank account?
It also seems to me that it is important to get this resolved while this guy is still alive. If he dies "owning" an interest in the house, depending on the ownership details, then his heirs (there may be multiple ones) then can make things even more difficult.
What is the "story" that could be told of why she made him the joint owner? He "coerced" her? He gave her something? She was not of "sound mind"? Any of these explanations would need evidence.
Unfortunately (consult an attorney) this may be a case where the best strategy is to pay him to release any and all interests in the property and go away forever.
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Andymoler58
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Andymoler58 »

I don't know all the details but I'm guessing she intentionally added him to the deed at the time but the relationship went bad. At the time, she went on his word that he would leave and sign the deed over to her which doesn't look like it will happen.

You don't think it's as simple as showing that she paid for 100% of the house with her own money?

If that's not the case then it would be like she just gave him a tax free gift of half the house which would bring gift taxes into play and all that.

It's definitely a valuable lesson to learn to not ever cosign on a house when your aren't married and your putting in all the money
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Flobes
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Flobes »

Is she in a state where he might attempt to claim common law marriage? And go after more than the house?

As repeatedly stated: She needs an attorney. Immediately.
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by FoolStreet »

Andymoler58 wrote:I don't know all the details but I'm guessing she intentionally added him to the deed at the time but the relationship went bad. At the time, she went on his word that he would leave and sign the deed over to her which doesn't look like it will happen.

You don't think it's as simple as showing that she paid for 100% of the house with her own money?

If that's not the case then it would be like she just gave him a tax free gift of half the house which would bring gift taxes into play and all that.

It's definitely a valuable lesson to learn to not ever cosign on a house when your aren't married and your putting in all the money

You posted at 7:06 then again at 9pm. Shouldn't you have run to the attorney already?

Kind of joking. Ha ha. But not really. Definitely not. Give us an update when you have one, please. Thanks.
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by fposte »

Andymoler58 wrote:I don't know all the details but I'm guessing she intentionally added him to the deed at the time but the relationship went bad. At the time, she went on his word that he would leave and sign the deed over to her which doesn't look like it will happen.

You don't think it's as simple as showing that she paid for 100% of the house with her own money?
No. Lots of couples buy houses together on the earnings of only one. If it was supposed to be only her house rather than shared, that would be reflected on the deed.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by cheese_breath »

She mistakenly put his name on the deed? That's a pretty big mistake. Are you sure she wasn't thinking they were headed for the alter?

Judge Judy would have some very unkind words for the boyfriend but would still say legally he's half owner. Case closed.
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by 123 »

What state is the property in (that could make a difference)? Some states post marital information after each name on the deed (i.e. Mary Smith, a single woman). Is ownership identified as simply joint owners, JWROS, or tenants-in-common or somehow else or unstated on the deed?

In some states I think it's pretty easy to add another name on the deed, particularly if you're paying cash. There might not be anything the second person has to sign with regard to the deed itself. Though the second person may have to sign certain disclosure documents as part of the close of the sale depending on the state the real estate was located in. Those other documents may not be available after some period of time. I think it's only the deed on a cash sale that's recorded in the state of California.
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Leemiller
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Leemiller »

You need a good attorney and probably to be prepared to pay this guy some money to get his name off the deed. You might do some people here some good by posting a follow-up since so many unmarried couples buy a home together these days.
IlliniDave
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by IlliniDave »

On the surface, when push comes to shove it sounds like he's got a solid legal claim to half the house as long as his name didn't get on there through some sort of fraud, although as you relate the story he doesn't have much moral claim (the cleanest thing would be to work that angle and get him to sign a quit claim). I think it will be difficult to convince a judge that a name was mistakenly added to a legal document like that then carried through the transaction process unwittingly (I'm presuming this happened when the purchase occurred). It's hard to imagine this happened without requiring his signature somewhere (which would erode the case it happened in error), but maybe since it was a cash transaction that could happen as a function of state law.

Retreading old ground here, but absolutely go to a lawyer, and I'd be inclined to select one other than the closing attorney (if there was one) because if there truly was an honest mistake somewhere in the process, it would likely lie with the closing attorney or alternate closing agent.

Best wishes.
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dm200
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by dm200 »

Andymoler58 wrote:I don't know all the details but I'm guessing she intentionally added him to the deed at the time but the relationship went bad. At the time, she went on his word that he would leave and sign the deed over to her which doesn't look like it will happen.
You don't think it's as simple as showing that she paid for 100% of the house with her own money?
If that's not the case then it would be like she just gave him a tax free gift of half the house which would bring gift taxes into play and all that.
It's definitely a valuable lesson to learn to not ever cosign on a house when your aren't married and your putting in all the money
It is very common that couples own a home jointly even if only one has income or the assets that paid for the home. My wife and I, for example, own our home jointly and 99.9% of the funds to purchase the home came from me. I die first, she gets it all.

Perhaps somewhat oversimilpfied (perhaps not) - she gave him half the house. Maybe even the whole house if it is joint with survivorship. He drags this out and she dies. He could get the entire thing.

Get an attorney who both knows all of the legal details, has experience in such cases and can really put the hard sell/squeeze on the guy to sign off on his "half". Such an attorney will not be cheap and she should be prepared to give this guy money to clear this up.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by ResearchMed »

How long were they "together", and how long "in this house".

Is he still living there?

The length of time may affect his ability to stay there, regardless of ownership.

We have a dear friend going through this.
The woman's name was never on the deed; it's been his home for about 30-40 years (and through 2 previous marriages & divorces, both long past).

But he started dating her, and soon she had a few 'things' she wanted to keep there, then more, and more.
Then she had some reason she needed to move, and didn't have a place to go... Ouch.
For years he's been trying to encourage her to leave, and the romance vanished years ago.

This has taken more than a year in court thus far, and the September, 2015, deadline somehow became June, 2016.

Some of the problem is he's been "too nice", not wanting to, er, "inconvenience" her.

But IF they are still living there together, make sure that the attorney gets an early start on the "living there" part.
That might be quite separate from the ownership problem.
A lot of this depends upon specific state law. Our state is 'tenant' friendly.
(Yeah, she wasn't really a 'tenant', but that's apparently irrelevant.)

Good luck!

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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Twins Fan »

Most states are tenant friendly now... it may be easier to think of it as resident friendly, but the courts call it all tenant.

If a person basically has personal belongings more than a toothbrush or overnight items there, gets mail there, etc., that person lives in that residence. It doesn't matter if that person is on a lease, a mortgage, or ever put a single dime into the place. About the only way that person can be forced to leave is through the courts. If the person agrees to leave on their own, that's one thing and all fine. But, if that person decides to be a you know what and dig their heels in.....

Not speaking for every state here, but it seems to be the trend here.
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Biffer »

I would not assume that Boyfriend's name being on the deed means that Boyfriend owns half the house. State laws differ. See a lawyer, for sure.
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by flyingbison »

Biffer wrote:I would not assume that Boyfriend's name being on the deed means that Boyfriend owns half the house.
What other documents establish ownership?
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Not Law »

The deed indicates an ownership interest. Someone drafted the deed - the draftor received instructions from someone. Since the grantees are not required to sign a deed, only the grantors, it is possible (though not probable) that an unintended grantee was included. Going on the deep pockets theory of litigation, your mother's attorney should investigate whether a title insurance claim or a malpractice claim might get an insurance company involved that can pay the ex enough to encourage his signature on a quit claim deed.
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by FelixTheCat »

Andymoler58 wrote:I'm guessing she intentionally added him to the deed at the time but the relationship went bad.
This sounds more accurate.
Andymoler58 wrote:You don't think it's as simple as showing that she paid for 100% of the house with her own money?
The law and what you consider fair sometimes do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.
Andymoler58 wrote:It's definitely a valuable lesson to learn to not ever cosign on a house when your aren't married and your putting in all the money
Never Ever Co-Sign.


I agree with others; get an attorney.
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by flyingbison »

Andymoler58 wrote: It's definitely a valuable lesson to learn to not ever cosign on a house when your aren't married and your putting in all the money
How would her situation be better if they were married?
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Riverstwo »

I made that mistake in my 20s and was held legally responsible to pay the other person off in order to keep my house and have them sign a QUIT DEED.
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Twins Fan »

flyingbison wrote:
Andymoler58 wrote: It's definitely a valuable lesson to learn to not ever cosign on a house when your aren't married and your putting in all the money
How would her situation be better if they were married?

It's not so much that being married would have been better... more like, being simply girlfriend/boyfriend and both signing the deed basically made them married as far as the house.

At least if you get married you know you might end up losing half someday. :happy
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by flyingbison »

Twins Fan wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
Andymoler58 wrote: It's definitely a valuable lesson to learn to not ever cosign on a house when your aren't married and your putting in all the money
How would her situation be better if they were married?

It's not so much that being married would have been better... more like, being simply girlfriend/boyfriend and both signing the deed basically made them married as far as the house.

At least if you get married you know you might end up losing half someday. :happy
I agree, which is why I didn't understand the comment. The "problem" here has nothing to do with their marital status, but the fact that the woman put his name on the deed.
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by ryman554 »

flyingbison wrote: I agree, which is why I didn't understand the comment. The "problem" here has nothing to do with their marital status, but the fact that the woman put his name on the deed.
Not quite, it certainly does matter their marital status as now you potentially have a *gift* of 50% of a house (well over the gift exclusion limit) and the subsequent tax ramifications.

I was initially thinking that the mother could use this as some leverage (back taxes and penalties), but I think it's actually the mom that would be in trouble here instead...
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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

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Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by Twins Fan »

Well it wouldn't be a gift either. It would be her buying him out to give him his portion of the house both their names are on. She can't gift him his part of the house.

This is all going into left field though since we don't know all the details.
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%age follows the money? Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

Post by ResearchMed »

    Here is a thought...

    It sounds like there was no written agreement about who owns what percentage of the property.
    Just because two (or more) names are on the property, that doesn't mean it is owned equally.

    My understanding (and experience, but this might vary by state) is that a valid argument can be made, absent any written agreement to the contrary, that the percentage ownership can be viewed as reflecting the proportion contributed. (This could be in cash or sweat equity, at times.)

    So... if she put in all the money, taxes, utilities, etc., then... perhaps he helped out with minor maintenance, for, say [totally making this up here], 5 or 10%, or perhaps he paid some utilities... in which case, what percentage did that total?
    That line of reasoning might at least allow her to avoid paying half.

    Have her ask her attorney (she NOW has an attorney, right?) about this, and how it might work in her state.

    It also might be worth dangling this reasoning in front of him, in case he's willing to take "something" rather than pay legal fees to try to get more, but also risk getting nothing. But let the *attorney* do any/all negotiating, lest the mother say something that can be held against her and make it worse.

    Again, good luck to her. Not pleasant...

    RM
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by flyingbison »

    ryman554 wrote:
    flyingbison wrote: I agree, which is why I didn't understand the comment. The "problem" here has nothing to do with their marital status, but the fact that the woman put his name on the deed.
    Not quite, it certainly does matter their marital status as now you potentially have a *gift* of 50% of a house (well over the gift exclusion limit) and the subsequent tax ramifications.
    Even if that was true (it's not, as others have already pointed out), that isn't the problem identified by the OP. The problem is that the couple has split up and the woman wants the man's name off the deed.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by ryman554 »

    flyingbison wrote:
    ryman554 wrote:
    flyingbison wrote: I agree, which is why I didn't understand the comment. The "problem" here has nothing to do with their marital status, but the fact that the woman put his name on the deed.
    Not quite, it certainly does matter their marital status as now you potentially have a *gift* of 50% of a house (well over the gift exclusion limit) and the subsequent tax ramifications.
    Even if that was true (it's not, as others have already pointed out), that isn't the problem identified by the OP. The problem is that the couple has split up and the woman wants the man's name off the deed.
    I didnt' make my intent clear:

    I was questioning that, when the OP mother put the BF on the deed, if there was any tax due AT THAT TIME, basically the BF gets half a house tax-free, and subtle suggestions that the IRS would take a dim view of this "unreported income" unless he gets off the deed may be a way to get what the OP mother wants NOW.

    However, as has been pointed out, it's not how the gifting works, and only serves to reduce the OP gift exclusion. But, dunno. Maybe a question like "did you report 1/2 the house as income to the IRS in 2010?", while having no legal standing whatsoever might be an interesting bluff.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by quantAndHold »

    ryman554 wrote:
    However, as has been pointed out, it's not how the gifting works, and only serves to reduce the OP gift exclusion. But, dunno. Maybe a question like "did you report 1/2 the house as income to the IRS in 2010?", while having no legal standing whatsoever might be an interesting bluff.
    It's really the other way around. If she gave him the gift, she owes the gift tax. Theoretically, if one member of an unmarried couple is supporting the other and the amount of support goes over $14k in a year, gift tax is owed. This was always a niggling issue when gay couples couldn't get married, although I never met anyone who said they actually paid the gift tax.

    Regardless, that isn't really the issue here. If he's on the deed, she's probably going to have to buy him off to get him to sign a quit claim. A lawyer can help.
    Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by pshonore »

    quantAndHold wrote:
    ryman554 wrote:
    Theoretically, if one member of an unmarried couple is supporting the other and the amount of support goes over $14k in a year, gift tax is owed. This was always a niggling issue when gay couples couldn't get married, although I never met anyone who said they actually paid the gift tax.
    Can you cite an IRS source (or anything close) for that interpretation?
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    TNL
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by TNL »

    I handled several of these cases when I was practicing family law.

    It is typically a bad idea to buy a house with someone you are not married to, or put their name on a deed, or own any joint property with them (house, car, RV, etc.) or accrue any joint debt (credit card) together. This is because when a married couple divorces, the family court divides marital assets and debts equitably, which usually (but not always) means equally. If you reside in a community property state, then it is presumed that the marital property/debts should be divided equally, although the presumption is rebuttable. While this may not always be "fair," fairness being held in the eye of the beholder, unless you live under a rock or are completely mistaken as to your state's laws, then you can usually predict going into a divorce how property is going to be divided.

    There are no such protections or remedies when unmarried couple holds joint property and then splits up. How did the original poster's mother's boyfriend "accidentally" end up on the deed? Did she trip over something?

    In seriousness, did someone (other than the boyfriend) advise her to do this for tax or estate planning purposes?

    The lawsuit that needs to be filed here is called an "Action to Partition Real Property" and it is done the same as if two other unmarried people (business partners, siblings, etc.) hold joint real property and need the court to help them figure out how it should be divided.

    Attention will be paid to who paid the real estate taxes, who performed the upkeep on the property, who paid for repairs, etc., etc., etc. I sincerely hope that the mother and the boyfriend did not commingle funds in a joint bank account, as that would be more evidence of joint ownership.

    Agree that the mother should offer the boyfriend some walkaway money.

    The actions to partition real property that I handled were not cheap, usually each side spends about $5-$10K in legal fees before they come up with a resolution on their own in mediation.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by dm200 »

    The way the income tax rules are, in general - you do not pay income tax on gifts, but do when you actually do work for the money.

    So, for example, if my brother-in-law hires me to do work in his business for $200 a week, then that $200 per week is taxable income. If, however, he just gives me $200 a week and I just sit on my rear end, then I pay no income tax. Seems backwards, but that is the law.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by flyingbison »

    TNL wrote: There are no such protections or remedies when unmarried couple holds joint property and then splits up.
    Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship provides such protection (at least in some states, if not all).
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by soupcxan »

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    TNL
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by TNL »

    flyingbison wrote:
    TNL wrote: There are no such protections or remedies when unmarried couple holds joint property and then splits up.
    Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship provides such protection (at least in some states, if not all).
    Sorry, I should have been more clear. That would be true if an unmarried couple owed a house and one of the partners died. The house would then pass to the surviving partner. However, if the dying partner had children, then they might look at that as protection and they might not. In the OP's mother's situation, this would not help her as she is trying to get the boyfriend out, but he is on the deed, so it will be difficult to do so here, because he is on the deed.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by flyingbison »

    TNL wrote:
    flyingbison wrote:
    TNL wrote: There are no such protections or remedies when unmarried couple holds joint property and then splits up.
    Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship provides such protection (at least in some states, if not all).
    Sorry, I should have been more clear. That would be true if an unmarried couple owed a house and one of the partners died. The house would then pass to the surviving partner. However, if the dying partner had children, then they might look at that as protection and they might not. In the OP's mother's situation, this would not help her as she is trying to get the boyfriend out, but he is on the deed, so it will be difficult to do so here, because he is on the deed.
    The protection it offers would not be to the mother in this case, but to her ex-partner. If the house is titled as joint tenancy, then there is no question that he owns an equal share, regardless of who paid what.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by TNL »

    flyingbison wrote:
    TNL wrote:
    flyingbison wrote:
    TNL wrote: There are no such protections or remedies when unmarried couple holds joint property and then splits up.
    Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship provides such protection (at least in some states, if not all).
    Sorry, I should have been more clear. That would be true if an unmarried couple owed a house and one of the partners died. The house would then pass to the surviving partner. However, if the dying partner had children, then they might look at that as protection and they might not. In the OP's mother's situation, this would not help her as she is trying to get the boyfriend out, but he is on the deed, so it will be difficult to do so here, because he is on the deed.
    The protection it offers would not be to the mother in this case, but to her ex-partner. If the house is titled as joint tenancy, then there is no question that he owns an equal share, regardless of who paid what.
    That may be the case in some states, but in my state it is not. Persons can hold JTWROS and it is not automatic that the property is equally held, although it is presumed. In my state, non-married persons can hold JTWROS.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by lcs »

    soupcxan wrote:
    quantAndHold wrote:Theoretically, if one member of an unmarried couple is supporting the other and the amount of support goes over $14k in a year, gift tax is owed.
    Wrong. Gift taxes are not owed until the giver has given away more than $5.45 million.

    There is so much misinformation on this thread it is frightening.

    Unfortunately it does appear that you are adding to it. After reading this I researched the gift taxes on the IRS website. There are annual exclusions and lifetime exclusions. The annual exclusion is $14,000 to each recipient in 2015 - so indeed, if the gift from the mother to the boyfriend exceeded $14,000 in one year the excess would be considered a taxable gift and would reduce the lifetime exclusion by the excess.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by dbr »

    lcs wrote:
    soupcxan wrote:
    quantAndHold wrote:Theoretically, if one member of an unmarried couple is supporting the other and the amount of support goes over $14k in a year, gift tax is owed.
    Wrong. Gift taxes are not owed until the giver has given away more than $5.45 million.

    There is so much misinformation on this thread it is frightening.

    Unfortunately it does appear that you are adding to it. After reading this I researched the gift taxes on the IRS website. There are annual exclusions and lifetime exclusions. The annual exclusion is $14,000 to each recipient in 2015 - so indeed, if the gift from the mother to the boyfriend exceeded $14,000 in one year the excess would be considered a taxable gift and would reduce the lifetime exclusion by the excess.
    And, therefore, no taxes would be owed until the total exceeded the lifetime exclusion, which for most people is never going to happen. But this is also a joint gift and inheritance tax, so it is not only gifts that are involved. Also the amount of the exclusion can be changed in law from time to time. It is probably a topic best studied at the source by anyone interested. What is unfortunate is anyone not doing something that makes sense because they think they will pay a tax on it when that is not going to be so in most actual cases.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by soupcxan »

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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by Twins Fan »

    This wouldn't be a "gift". Can we stop talking about that in this one.

    The issue is, it may be half his house. It wouldn't be a gift to give him what is his.

    Whether mom can prove that none of it is his or not is the concern here. But, the "gift" thing doesn't come into play.

    This would be more of a settlement, if it ends up to that point.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by wolf359 »

    Twins Fan wrote:This wouldn't be a "gift". Can we stop talking about that in this one.

    The issue is, it may be half his house. It wouldn't be a gift to give him what is his.

    Whether mom can prove that none of it is his or not is the concern here. But, the "gift" thing doesn't come into play.

    This would be more of a settlement, if it ends up to that point.
    If he didn't pay for the house, and she simply gave him ownership, isn't that considered a gift?
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by Twins Fan »

    Can mom prove that in this case? :happy

    That is the issue here. From the sounds of it, technically none of the house is his and he shouldn't get a penny... gift or otherwise. But, his name being on the deed and if there's no proof of none of it being his.... mom may be up a creek.

    It's good to know we have so many upstanding and ethical Bogleheads on here, but not everyone on the world is that way. :happy This guy may have scammed his way into half a house.

    Hence, mom should get a lawyer ASAP.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by UADM »

    Twins Fan wrote:Can mom prove that in this case? :happy

    That is the issue here. From the sounds of it, technically none of the house is his and he shouldn't get a penny... gift or otherwise. But, his name being on the deed and if there's no proof of none of it being his.... mom may be up a creek.

    It's good to know we have so many upstanding and ethical Bogleheads on here, but not everyone on the world is that way. :happy This guy may have scammed his way into half a house.

    Hence, mom should get a lawyer ASAP.
    I see no scam here. The mother knowingly put him on the deed. There is no such thing as mistakenly putting someone on a deed.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by Twins Fan »

    I agree about the mistakenly part.

    But, we don't know all the details of what happened either. Maybe he schmoozed her in some con-artist way none of us would understand. I just don't like to pass judgement without knowing all the details.
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    Re: Deed in 2 peoples name that aren't married

    Post by flyingbison »

    TNL wrote: That may be the case in some states, but in my state it is not. Persons can hold JTWROS and it is not automatic that the property is equally held ...
    Are you sure about that? I've never heard of any form of joint tenency that wasn't an equal interest in the property (but there are lots of states, so maybe I'm wrong).
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