My father passed away in July 2014. His residence was willed equally to his 5 children. One of my siblings wants to buy the property from the rest of us but needs a bigger equity share to get a loan. The primary home is still in my fathers name but if not sold by Sept 1 it will have to be transferred into each of our names. The sibling wanting full ownership also received a separate property in its entirety in the will.

1) Can I trade my portion of my father's inheritance in his primary home to my sibling in exchange for the separate piece of property they received and which is now titled in their name? My equity % in the primary home is equal to the value of the other property (approx. $30,000) so no money will be exchanged and both of us are agreeable to this exchange.

2) What is the best (least expensive) means to make the exchange?

3) Will it be possible to simply do quitclaim deeds; his property to me and my equity to him?

4) Do we have to claim the true value in the quitclaim or just a dollar?

5) No tax was due by any of us for the inheritance(s) Will there be any tax issues for either of us immediately or in the future to be aware of?

6) Will a lawyer be required?

Both properties are located in the same county and township in WI and both of us also currently live in this township.

Thank you for any help and expertise you may offer regarding this unusual circumstance.

  • 2
    From my limited knowledge (so not an 'answer'), this should be no issue; and you would only need a title company for the execution. Of course it is your problem to consider if the values are adequate or if you make a bad deal. - Let's see what more qualified people say.
    – Aganju
    Aug 7, 2016 at 1:26
  • 1
    Most property sales in the UK involve a lawyer, and since this is more complicated than most I would recommend it. Aug 8, 2016 at 3:00
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because most of the issues that need to be addressed have to do with law and not money. It would be a better fit on law.SE. Oct 6, 2016 at 13:22
  • I would ask this on legal SE. Specifically ask if there are any pitfalls to using quitclaim deeds or if something else would better protect you. You can find preprinted paperwork and do the legwork then take it to a lawyer for review which should be cheaper than having them draw everything up. A few hundred dollars is well worth not putting the $30k property at risk.
    – T. M.
    May 19, 2019 at 9:57
  • @T.M. It should also be asked here, because tax implications might be "interesting". Or find a lawyer who also understands the tax implications.
    – gnasher729
    May 20, 2019 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can trade your properties.

Go to the county recorder's office to find out the exact procedure. Deeds generally have specific language to use and you must describe the property accurately in the deed. If you want to do the transfer yourself, you will need to make sure you have the language correct.

Also, you might want to do a title search to make sure that there are no claims against the property your brother is trading you, such as by a lender who might have loaned money to him with the property as collateral.

(3) Yes, the normal way in the US is quitclaim deeds.

(4) A quitclaim deed only lists the money (or other consideration) that changes hands.

(5) Since it is a trade for equal value, there are no taxes.

(6) No. Normally a lawyer is only needed if you are dealing with a stranger and the transaction is complex. As long as you follow the procedures of the clerk's office correctly there should be no need for a lawyer. In fact, a lawyer might be undesirable because they could slow things down. Also, since this is a non-standard trade, a lawyer actually has a higher chance of screwing something up because they will not give it long thought, the way you would. Also, they will use messengers and mail instead of actually going to the recorders office, another source of error which you can avoid by doing the process correctly--ie visiting the recorders office. Lawyers don't like getting out of their chairs and this causes them to make a lot of mistakes.

  • 2
    Note that you can generally buy preprinted papers with the proper wording. Aug 8, 2016 at 17:58
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    Hiring a lawyer --or two lawyers -- is a highly recommended investment to make sure the agreement and exchange does exactly, and only, what the two parties have agreed should be done. There's enough value here to make hiring expertise a cheap form of insurance. Preprinted will probably work, but given the potential for family feud I think it's worth the cost to bring in a pro.
    – keshlam
    Oct 6, 2016 at 8:37
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    This is extraordinarily bad advice with much snark about lawyers that also ignores the executor of the estate who still has a role to play in all this. -1 and separately a vote to close the question Oct 6, 2016 at 13:15
  • @DilipSarwate Just saying my answer is "bad advice" without saying what, in particular is "bad", is not very informative. It is true the question is about law, but since it was unclosed I answered. Oct 6, 2016 at 17:10
  • This answer does not address any of the tax implications, other than item (5) which claims 'no tax liability' but fails to explain why or cite relevant tax code.
    – brichins
    May 31, 2018 at 19:37

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