FW: Adding child's name to father's property -

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Income Tax expert - real estate IRA's 401(K)
  My question is hopefully simple. Thank you for taking the time to answer
My husbands father wants to ad his name to the property titles that he holds
in Costa Rica. Does this make my husband responsible for taxes, etc. to
those properties?
Also, since we have just gotten married, if he ads his name to those titles,
does that make me just as responsible for the taxes, etc??
The last question I have is that if my husband puts his name on the titles
of the prorperties, willhe have to continue to go back to Costa Rica if for
example his father decides to sell the property?? Is my husbands signature
required in order for his dad to sell the property??
Is there any other place that I could research this information??
Thank you so very much for taking the time to answer this question. I really
appreciate it and it has saved me many headaches now that i am clear on what
we are getting into.
david ingram replies:
Adding a name to a property title does not necessarily make a person the
beneficial owner of the property.  Many mothers and fathers add their
children's names to the titles of their properties as joint tenants with
right of survivorship to make it easier for the children to deal with the
estate upon the death of a parent.
There is usually an understanding (which should be put in writing to be
sure) that the parent is not "giving" the property to their children at this
time but is merely making their estate paperwork easier.
I worry about Costa Rica though.  Although most tourists will poo pah my
warning, but they have a Napoleonic Code when it comes to law and taxes as
such.  In Costa Rica, you are guilty until proven innocent.
I have known a Canadian who was locked up for about 8 months for stopping
payment on a cheque for services not received as one example.
So, if your husband is going to put his name on the titles, hr should (in my
opinion) be sure that his father has the cash assets to make the property
You do not have to worry though.  You will not be responsible for the taxes
if your name is not on the title.
You and your husband and maybe father-in-law should consult with  a lawyer
or someone like myself as a family so that you are sure about your rights
and concerns.
David Ingram's US/Canada Services
US / Canada / Mexico tax, Immigration and working Visa Specialists
US / Canada Real Estate Specialists
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