Listing a Minor on Title of a Property

When buying a new home can a minor child be listed on the title instead of a spouse?

2 Answers

Listing a minor on title depends on the state. Check with your attorney. A friend of mine had the same question for a property in Connecticut. The attorney advised her against putting a minor child on title. The reason? A young person may experience problems as a young person or young adult and may exercise poor judgement. If they are on title, liens might be put against the property, since the property would legally be an asset of the child. Additionally, it may be possible, in some states, to borrow additional money and lien the property. In my friend's case, the attorney advised that he leave the property to the minor (maybe an adult at the time of his death) in his will and that would ensure that the minor/adult received the benefits intended. His goal was to have the minor (at the time) receive the property in the event of his death. He thought putting the child on title was the best way to accomplish this.

To more fully answer your question, you can have anyone you want listed on the title. However, you must understand the ramifications of your listing. Again, talk to an attorney in your area. Tell them why you choose or do not choose to list certain people on the title. Once the attorney understands your goal, he/she should be able to advise you and provide a solution that meets your goal while minimizing risk.

Many laws are state-specific with regards to the legal rights of minors, so best way to determine this is to consult with a legal authority in your area. That said, the most common way in which a minor is granted title to property is through a trust, whereby an adult is assigned to manage the property until the child comes of age. This adult could be the co-owning parent, in theory.

Many lenders, however, may have their own rules as to lending on properties held in trust. Because of the extra legal issues that foreclosing on a property in trust may create, many do not allow for it at all. If your intention is to hold title with a minor, or in a trust, or both, be certain that you inform the lender (or lien holder, if you already have a loan) so that you can abide by any additional restrictions that they may have and your loan can be underwritten properly.