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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 3 decades of experience in the legal field.
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I am in the process of purchasing a lot in taos, New Mexico,

Customer Question

I am in the process of purchasing a lot in taos, New Mexico, on which I will build a home. I am retired and live with my life partner, we are not married. I will be providing all of the funds for the lot and house, although we are intending to take out a loan in both of our names. I could qualify for and take out a loan in my name alone. If I die before my partner, I want the house to go to her. During my lifetime, I do not want my partner to have any ability to encumber the property or assign any interest in the property. So, what is the best way to accomplish that, take title in my name alone and then leave her the property in my will? I would like to have her name on the property as well as mine, if possible, so she will feel like it is truly her house.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good afternoon,
I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
Placing your partner's name on the title to the property makes the property part hers---as much as 50T% hers depending on the language in the deed.
You cannot prevent an owner of a property from encumbering it to the extent of their equity in the property---whether the encumbrance be voluntary or through a creditor lien.
You can leave the property to her through a will---but that will involve probate. You can name her as a joint tenant and then the property passes to her on your death---but she would be able to encumber it.
The safest way to avoid probate, get the property to her death and not risk it being encumbered would be to place the [property in a Trust Agreement with her as the beneficiary of the trust. The property in the trust would pass to her on your death and the property would be in neither of your names, but rather in the name of the trust. She would then feel that the property was hers as well as yours.
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I wish you and yours the best in 2015,