Many situations come up where people want to add a name to title. This occurs for many reasons. While the process is not difficult or expensive, it poses legal risks. It is important for anyone thinking of adding names to land titles in Alberta to understand these risks. The real estate lawyers at Kahane Law Office in Calgary regularly assist client with making changes to land titles’ registrations.
Reasons People Add A Name To Alberta Land Title
As life progresses, people decide to add names to land titles for a variety of reasons. Please note that you require no specific reason to add a name to title to your property. For example, people frequently add a name to the title to their home because they:
- Recently married;
- Need a co-signer to a new mortgage;
- Want to share an inheritance;
- Have someone who bought into the property; and lastly
- Want to try to avoid probate (Critical note: See the risk of trying to avoid probate).
Risk of Adding Names To Land Titles
As with any legal change, benefits and risks exist to the process. Understanding these risks is crucial before making any change to the ownership of your property. For example, the risks that frequently arise include:
- Uncontemplated tax consequences including (deemed disposition and capital gains issues);
- Future forced sale of home;
- Unintentional gifting of the home;
- Unsecured creditor claim against person added to title;
- Triggering the “Due on sale” clause in your mortgage;
- Matrimonial property division issues;
- Loss of exempt property status;
- Liability under current mortgage; and lastly
- Uncontemplated complications due to registrations on title.
Cost Of Adding A Name
The cost of adding names to land titles is relatively low. At Kahane Law Office we always look to include flat rate fee pricing. The cost for adding a name to land titles starts at $500. This fee includes the usual disbursements, meaning a title search, couriers, land title fees for registering the transfer and legal fees. Please note that this fee is based on the new land title fees increased by the provincial government on January 1, 2020. If completed in the same registration process, no additional cost applies to adding more than one person to the title to your property. Conversely, this costs reflects the change to just one property. If you own multiple properties under separate, unrelated titles, each title requires a transfer of land.
Land Titles in Alberta requires specific information when adding names to land titles. In order to add a name to the title to your property, we require the following information:
- Name of current property owner on title;
- The address of the property you want to add a name to;
- The value that you, or a / the person added to title, believe the property is worth;
- The consideration paid for the transfer (dollar amount and / or nominal amount and /or love & affection);
- Full legal name of the person / people you want to add to title;
- How the parties wish to hold title ownership; and lastly
- The mailing address for each party.
How Long Does It Take To Change Names On Titles
Kahane Law Office is set up for real estate law. We normally see clients within a day or two if them connecting with us. However, when required, we draft the documents required to add a name to the title to your property on the same day you call. In terms of the registration of the document to add the name, the registration time at the Alberta Land Titles Office varies. At times, the processing time is 2-3 days. Other times the registration takes 3-4 months. Lastly, there is no mechanism in the land titles system to speed up this process.
Calgary Law Firm For Adding Names To Land Titles
We believe in providing quick, efficient and reasonable priced legal services. With flat rate fees you know what you pay in advance and have the confidence of the proper addition of a name to your land title. Call the real estate lawyers at Kahane Law Office. Please reach out any time. Call us toll-free at 1-877-225-8817 (or if you are in Calgary, Alberta or surrounding area 403-225-8810), or email us directly here.