If my daughter and I buy a house together and both of our names are on the deed, if I die will she own the home or does she have to go through probate?

UPDATED: Oct 15, 2012

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If my daughter and I buy a house together and both of our names are on the deed, if I die will she own the home or does she have to go through probate?

Can I do something in my will to ensure that she will own the home?

Asked on October 15, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Maryland


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

How does the deed to the house read? In other words, do you and your daughter hold title as "joint tenants with rights of survivorship" (or similar wording)? If so, then upon your passing she will become the sole owner. Your heirs/beneficiaries, if any, will have no rights in the property.

However, if you own the property as "tenants in common", then each of your shares is freely transferable. This means that your share would be inherited by your heirs/beneficiaries; at the very least it would have to go through probate even if your daughter is your only heir/beneficiary. Further, you should be aware that a tenancy in common can be designated on the face of the deed but it need not be. So if there is no specific wording other than the owners' names, it is presumed to be as tenants in common.

At this point, you may want to consult with an attorney in your area. For an hour or so of their time, they can help you with the wording on the deed, etc.

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