Friday, September 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Elderly couple wants to split heirs

DEAR HARRY: My wife and I are in our late 70s. Our major asset is our home. It's worth somewhere in the mid-six figures. We have three children and 10 grandchildren. We would like our home to be sold and the proceeds divided 75 percent to our children and 25 percent to our grandchildren. However, we have one very devoted grandchild whose name we would like to put on our deed to the house. How can we do this legally? Would she have to know about this arrangement beforehand? We don't think it would cause a problem with the family.

WHAT HARRY SAYS: What you're proposing could very well create problems. Your favored grandchild would own one-third of the house, leaving only two-thirds for further distribution. Is this your intention? The rest is easily accomplished in your wills. Transferring the partial title to your grandchild is easily accomplished by a real-estate broker or your lawyer. I suggest you think this through again. You're favoring this grandchild over your other heirs, including your children. Despite your belief that this would not create a problem, I have serious concerns that at least one of your remaining 12 heirs could cause a breakup of a close family.


Email Harry Gross at, or write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19107. Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red-Cross.

Harry Gross Daily News Personal Finance Columnist
Also on
Stay Connected