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House Calls: Adding Son

Edith Lank on

Ms. Lank: Does the existence of a mortgage on the property cause the bank or other mortgage holder to limit one's ability to include another person on the deed?

My wife and I are currently joint owners of our home with right of survival. We have a remaining mortgage balance of about 30% of estimated market value.

I would like to include my grown son on the deed with my wife and me. Thanks for your advice. -- M. H.

Answer: You and your wife each made a personal promise to repay that loan. (Either of you, by the way, could potentially be held responsible for the whole amount.) In addition, you gave the lender permission to take your home if the loan wasn't repaid as promised.

None of that would change if you added another owner, and you're free to do so.

Inheriting Mortgage

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Dear Edith: I have a 30-year fixed mortgage with about 20 years left and a balance of around $200,000 still on my home. My grown son (and executor of my estate) lives with me, pays rent and does most of the yardwork. My grown daughter is married and lives in another city.

I would like to rewrite my will to leave the house to my son and name my daughter as full beneficiary to my life insurance policy ($200,000). I have discussed this with both of them and have their blessings.

My question is: Once I die, will my son be required to refinance the mortgage that is in my name, or can he just continue paying on the existing mortgage and get the deed name changed? Also, should I go ahead and put his name on my deed? -- K. W.

Answer: Lenders do not call in a mortgage loan when real estate is inherited. Your son can keep the present financing if he wants to.


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