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I am about to move to Texas and am under contract to purchase a house with 100% cash. I went on the house hunting trip alone so my wife is not listed in the contract. My realtor suggested that I tell the title company that I want her on the title/deed as well. My wife will not be on that side of the country during the closing, so it would actually be more convenient for me to just sign it in my name and not worry about getting a remote notarized signature from her.

Once I move, I will set up a will leaving everything to her if I pass away (I also have one in my current state). We will not own any other houses.

Assuming I have my self-proving will signed, is there any reason I should put my wife on the title to my house? It seems to me that given community property laws and my will, there should be no problem with her inheriting it or getting half of it if I die or we are ever divorced, respectively.

Have I overlooked any reason to add her to the title/deed of our house? Tax implications if we sell at a gain, maybe? Or some reason I have not thought of?

  • In some states, it is the law (Florida is one of them). – Brian Jun 8 '15 at 15:52
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It'll be easier to administer any matter related to the property, if her name is on it.

Even if you will it to her or a divorce proceeding occurs, it will be a headache for her to get anything done if her name isn't originally on it.

And while you guys are both together, there may be some situations where she may need to do something related to the property, like if you are incapacitated for any reason. It will be easier if her name is on the property. I have seen female property owners treated with skepticism and bureaucratic red tape when their name was on the property as is (or a joint owner in a marriage), so it could be unnecessarily difficult for her name not to be on the title originally.

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What money are you paying with for it? Texas is a community property State, and assets purchased with community money are community. Not writing her in the title may not change the fact that she still owns the house, just make everything much more complicated.

  • We've been married for 7 years and she is a homemaker. I earned about half of it before our marriage and half after but I certainly consider it community money. – farnsy Jun 8 '15 at 15:51
  • @farnsy: It's not about the money but the property acquired during marriage. Since it's not inherited, this house will be in her name too. Whether her name needs to be on the title will be a question for the title company, but the answer most likely will be yes. – Brian Jun 8 '15 at 15:55
  • Does it change anything given that he doesn't live in TX yet? Does TX retroactively decide that the income he earned prior to moving to TX is community property, if he's coming from a state which its not? – Andy Jun 8 '15 at 16:17
  • @Andy: It's not the income used. Its the house/property itself. It resides in TX. – Brian Jun 8 '15 at 19:44

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