Q. My husband passed away three years ago. Can I make my 21-year-old son a co-owner to double the home sale exclusion? Anonymous, New Rochelle, N.Y.
A. Technically, this will work, although it will take some time. As long as both co-owners meet the “use” and “ownership” requirements, both you and your child can claim a home sale exclusion for the first $250,000 of gain. But you will have to wait at least two years from transferring the 50% interest to your son to sell the home and he must use the home as his principal residence for at least two years before the sale occurs.
Tip: This strategy may affect other financial and tax aspects, including mortgage interest and property taxes.