Estate Planning – Joint Assets with Children


Clients often ask us to transfer their assets (including their house) so that it is held jointly between them and one or more of their children. Transferring your assets into your name and one or more of your children’s names as joint tenants in order to avoid probate tax is often a bad idea.

Adding one or more of your children to your assets may trigger income tax. If you transfer an interest in your home, you may lose some capital gains benefits because your child is on title to the property.

Following are some of the risks your assets are exposed to if a child is on title to them:

  • If your child should be in a car accident and be sued for more than their insurance coverage, your assets may be exposed;
  • If your child should separate from their spouse, the spouse may try to advance some claim against your assets;
  • You may want to transfer or deal with the assets in the future but the child may disagree;
  • Should your child become incapable, you will have to deal with the person acting under their Power of Attorney (or the Province of Ontario if there is no Power of Attorney).

Before transferring any assets into joint ownership with your children, speak with your lawyer and accountant.


Feel free to contact us at any point for assistance or advice with respect to Estate Law, Estate Planning, Estate Administration or Estate Litigation. We may be reached at 705-435-4339 / 1-877-85LEGAL (1-877-855-3425) or contact us via email.

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