What is involved in transferring real estate to another person and what does it normally cost?

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What is involved in transferring real estate to another person and what does it normally cost?

My husband bought a house for his mother about 11 years ago. At the time, she didn’t want the house in her name. Now she would like to have it transferred into her name and we don’t know what we need to do.

Asked on August 15, 2011 West Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your mother-in-law now want legal title to the home that your husband purchased for her eleven years ago, he needs to consult with a real estate attorney about drafting a gift deed from his name to his mother's name to be recorded on the property with the county recorder's office where the property is located.

You need to be aware of possible gift tax ramifications if the entirety of the home is transferred to the mother-in-law all at once. Under federal law, an individual can gift $13,000 per year to any individual tax free. Meaning, if one had $130,000 to give away, ten separate gifts of $13,000 could be given to ten separate people.

In your scenario, to avoid possible gift tax ramifications, the property to be transferred should be appraised and fractionalized interests in the property equalling $13,000 for so many years should be gifted to your mother-in-law until your husband no longer has any interests remaining in the property.

The costs for the above will need to be set by a West Virginia attorney on an hourly basis. In California, for what I described including the appraisal and recording fees, attorneys fees would be in the range of $2,00 to $3,250 initially with additional fees each year for new gift deeds and gift tax returns.


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