deed transfer

What is best way to transfer title from Mother to son in PA?

Can you expand a bit? Why are you transferring, etc. Warranty deed gives the most guarantee but if theirs a mortgage you may want to transfer into a trust, then assign beneficial interest to avoid due on sale clause.

No mortgage. House owned free/clear. Mother to son and daughter in law. They’ve decided on quitclaim.

Warrantee Deed is definitely better.

Some Title companies will not issue you title insurance with a quitclaim–something to check on if you decide to mortgage the property in the future

Unless there is a transfer for value, gift taxes are due and the son will lose the stepped up value upon mom’s death.


If there had been a mortgage, I believe that parent to child transfer is one of the DOSC exceptions.

I agree with BLL. Inheritance is better for all concerned. Best course of action is for mother to put property into revocable trust and have son as beneficary upon her death.

If the transfer is being done to divest assets before entering a nursing home, then an irrevocable trust will still preserve the basis step up upon inheritance, but, the family should be aware that Medicaid has a five year lookback on the transfer of assets.

What is best way to transfer title from Mother to son in PA?


I probably don’t hang out on the forums enough and am missing something? I took PA to be where he is located i.e. Pennsylvania. Based on your answer, I’m assuming that was an incorrect assumption and it has something to do with the mother passing? If that’s the case, what you’re saying definitely makes sense.

Also, I’m not real sure on the DOSC exemption…makes a little sense though.

Homeowner alive and well and property is in Pennsylvania. No mortgage. Mother giving property to son and daughter-in-law who will then sell it and obtain loan for new construction. Quitclaim easy and not complicated. Thanx for all the input.

Quick and easy and often muddies the title. I recommend that you listen to what you’ve been told and get the Warranty Deed!


Title held by the same person for 27 years.

Gift taxes are going to be an issue and there is also an issue with PA transfer taxes.

My response had nothing to do with the property location. I was siding with BLL. Gifting the property to a child is not the best way to transfer property. An outright gift of equity brings gift tax issues into play both for federal taxes and for state gift taxes.

Additionally, gifts transfer at the donor’s cost basis. Since this property was acquired nearly 30 years ago, it probably has a cost basis that is around 10% of its current market value. Just for the sake of illustration, let’s say the property has a current market value of $200K and an acquisition cost of just $25K. When the mother gives the house to her son, his cost basis will be $25K. If he should decide to sell the property immediately for $200K, he will be taxed on a $175K capital gain.

On the other hand, if the son received title by inheritance, his basis will be the appraised value of the property at the time it is inherited. Selling the property immediately at appraised value, does not generate a taxable capital gain.

Putting title to the property in a revocable trust which designates the son as her beneficiary upon her death, allows the son to inherit the house at a stepped up basis, while removing the house from her assets subject to probate. I don’t know what probate costs are in PA, but this act alone could save an estate quite a bit of money. Even though the house is held in a trust, the son and daughter-in-law can be given occupancy rights so that the property can be effectively maintained. The net effect is the same as a gift (the son gets to occupy the house), but better than a gift since a significant tax consequence is removed.

If the Mother’s intent is to reduce her assets so that she can qualify for Medicaid sooner, then gifting the house to her son accomplishes nothing. Medicaid will still look at all asset transfers within the past five years and assess the mother the full value of the house anyway which will delay her Medicaid eligibility until she has paid enough nursing home costs out of pocket to offset the value of the house. In some areas of the country, the Medicaid lookback period was only three years if assets were transferred into an irrevocable trust. That may have changed with new legislation last year.

Also, I'm not real sure on the DOSC exemption...makes a little sense though.

Here is the language found at 12 USC 1701j-3d (note subparagraph (6)):

A lender may not exercise its option pursuant to a due-on-sale clause upon–,

(1) the creation of a lien or other encumbrance subordinate to the lender’s security instrument which does not relate to a transfer of rights of occupancy in the property;

(2) the creation of a purchase money security interest for household appliances;

(3) a transfer by devise, descent, or operation of law on the death of a joint tenant or tenant by the entirety;

(4) the granting of a leasehold interest of three years or less not containing an option to purchase;

(5) a transfer to a relative resulting from the death of a borrower;

(6) a transfer where the spouse or children of the borrower become an owner of the property;

(7) a transfer resulting from a decree of a dissolution of marriage, legal separation agreement, or from an incidental property settlement agreement, by which the spouse of the borrower becomes an owner of the property;

(8) a transfer into an inter vivos trust in which the borrower is and remains a beneficiary and which does not relate to a transfer of rights of occupancy in the property; or

(9) any other transfer or disposition described in regulations prescribed by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.