Putting child on title, Replacing basement windows


Dear David,

Should I put my son on title to make it easier when I’m gone? – CONTEMPLATING

DEAR CONTEMPLATING: The quick answer is no. If you put your son on title and the property is not his principal residence, he’ll be responsible for paying capital gains on any increase in the value of that property from the time he goes on title until you pass. Since property values in our region continue to rise, he will almost certainly end up owing capital gains if you take this approach.   

In my opinion, you would be better advised to ensure that your will is in order and have a signed Power of Attorney (POA) for your property, similar to what you would have for your medical decisions. These documents should be all that is required to keep your affairs on track.

PRO TIP: Never put things off, no matter what your age. An up-to-date will and Power of Attorney are necessary to ensure your wishes are carried out. Finalizing these documents is a simple process that only takes a few hours. The time you invest now will help ensure that your affairs are in order when the time comes.  

Dear David,

We’re thinking of changing the windows in our house. Do you think it’s important to do the basement ones as well? – SEEING CLEARLY

DEAR SEEING: Updated windows can improve energy efficiency and reduce your heating costs, no matter where they are installed in your home. Older style single-pane or wooden windows may encourage heat loss from the basement, especially if yours is a finished living space where a consistent temperature is maintained.

Wood windows in particular can be prone to moisture damage in places where the exterior paint has chipped or rot has started to set in. Deteriorating seals or gaps around the frames put windows at obvious risk for water damage and mold growth. If you see condensation forming between window panes anywhere in your home, it’s time to investigate and perhaps consider replacement.

Pro Tip: Buyers notice small details. If you’re making the investment in new windows, do it right. Once you’ve installed modern double-paned windows, you’ll be able to repair a broken seal without changing the whole unit. You’ll also be able to keep the chill out of those lower spaces. #Ask David #Advice