How to remove someone's name from a property deed | finder.com

How to remove someone’s name from a property deed

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Learn when to use a quitclaim or warranty deed — and important differences.

Whether it’s due to death, divorce or a change in personal circumstances, it may become necessary for a name to be removed from a property deed. If it’s your name, you’ll typically complete a deed of conveyance.

Eliminating the ownership rights of someone listed on a property deed typically involves removing the names from the deed and the title. Because some types of property are better suited to specific deeds of conveyance, this process requires knowing more about the type of property you’re discussing.

Regulations differ by state and by county, so you’ll want to research your local laws regarding changes of ownership. And while you can generally complete the process yourself, it’s a good idea to seek legal counsel and have an attorney review the paperwork before you submit it.

We break down when to use a quitclaim or warranty deed, how you remove a name and what the risks are.

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    What’s a quitclaim deed?

    A quitclaim deed is used to sign over property to another person. When someone signs a quitclaim deed, it means that they’re effectively giving up their claim or rights to the property. There is no exchange of money or warrantees, so it offers the lowest level of buyer protection.

    Because they are high risk, quitclaim deeds are usually between people you trust — a family member or spouse, for example. Keep in mind that a quitclaim deed has no effect on the mortgage, so even if you remove a person from the deed, all parties on the mortgage are still responsible for payments.

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    How can I remove a name from the title deed?

    A deed of conveyance — such as a quitclaim or warranty deed — is the most common way to remove a name from the property deed. A deed of conveyance is usually completed by the buyer and the seller who is being removed from the title and deed.

    Forms of property ownership

    Before you transfer ownership of any type of property, it’s important that you know the kind of ownership that’s being discussed. Some are better handled with specific deeds of conveyance.

    Forms of property ownership types include:

    • Sole ownership.
      A single person owns the property.
    • Joint tenancy.
      Multiple people own the property.
    • Rights of survivorship.
      Multiple people own the property and inherit equal shares after another owner’s death.
    • Tenants in common.
      Multiple people own the property and do not inherit any shares after another owner’s death.
    • Tenancy by entirety.
      Two people own a property, one of whom inherits the entire property after the other’s death.

    There are five steps to remove a name from the property deed:

    1. Discuss property ownership interests.

    Speak with any co-owners to reach an agreement about which names will be removed from the title and why. If removing your name, agree on your share of the property, who it will be transferred to and how the ownership structure is formed.

    When transferring property ownership, you’ll use one of two deeds of conveyance:

    • A quitclaim deed.
      States that you have the right to transfer a property with no legal assurance that anybody else claims to own it.
    • A warranty deed.
      States that you have the right to transfer a property with an explicit assurance nobody else claims to own it.

    Quitclaim deeds are easy to file and work for most changes of ownership. A warranty deed, however, can be more appropriate in situations when there are multiple owners. A warranty deed can also prevent future challenges to ownership, because it clearly indicates the transferring party’s right to change the ownership.

    2. Access a copy of your title deed.

    You’ll need to get a copy of the title deed to verify that it currently includes the name you’d like to remove. You can get a copy of the title deed from your county clerk’s office, but in some cases, you may be able to order the deed online.

    If you’re getting a copy from your local land registry office, search for your deed in their database or ask for assistance.

    3. Complete, review and sign the quitclaim or warranty form.

    You can get a quitclaim form online, from an office supply store or from your county or city clerk’s office. If you’re looking to remove your name, you must fill out the quitclaim form, using the same name found on the title deed. Warranty deeds can also be found online, but they are more often acquired from the county clerk’s office.

    Both quitclaim and warranty deeds are valid only when they’re executed correctly. In most counties, the deed must accurately include all parties to the deed as well as the signature of the person conveying or granting the deed.

    Quitclaim and warranty deeds must clearly specify:

    • The name of the grantor and grantee and address of the property.
    • The date of the transfer.
    • The county name, state and city where the deed is signed.
    • A document number or reference in the county recorder’s office where the previous deed was filed.
    • The reason for the transfer.
    • What the grantor will receive from the transfer — for example, a sum of money.
    • The relevant county, legal property description, tax parcel ID number and other relevant financial or tax info.
    • The form of ownership.

    Sign the deed only if correct and as advised by your attorney, if you have one. Sign in front of a certified notary witness who can acknowledge each signature.

    How do I remove the name of a deceased person from a deed?

    When one or more of the people on your property deed have died, you’ll need to transfer the property to its living owners. Whether a will is involved or not, if you’re a surviving owner, you’re typically required to submit three documents to your state’s clerk of courts or registrar, including:

    • Death certificate.
      You’ll need to obtain a copy of the death certificate to prove the person you’re looking to remove is deceased.
    • Notarized affidavit.
      This is a voluntary, sworn statement used by courts to confirm the death and your new ownership. It includes basic contact and information you’ll finalize in front of a notary public.
    • The new deed.
      You and any new owners will need to sign and notarize the new property deed and provide it with your other paperwork.

    Contact your local courthouse or county clerk to learn more about the specific requirements of your state and any laws of inheritance.

    Skip the headache with an expert opinion from a real estate lawyer

    4. Submit the quitclaim or warranty form.

    Submit your form at the county or city office where you got the original property deed. Depending on the state, this office could be the county clerk or the land registry.

    Some jurisdictions require additional paperwork, like tax documents. Check with your local office to make sure you have everything you need.

    How to add your name to a property when all the owners have died

    If a will or a court’s decision grants you ownership of real estate, you’ll need to modify the property deed to reflect that you’re the new owner.

    First, you’ll need to look at the original deed of the property and confirm it wasn’t jointly owned at the time of the owners’ deaths. If it wasn’t, then you’ll need to write up a new deed to replace the current one.

    If you’re willed the property, then you’ll need an executor’s deed. If the owners died without a will and the court granted you ownership, then you’ll need an administrator’s deed. Both deeds must include the legal description of the property and your name as the new owner.

    If you’re using an executor’s deed, you’ll need to include:

    • Confirmation the will has gone through probate
    • Info that shows the executor is authorized to deed you the property
    • Names of the previous owners

    If you’re using an administrator’s deed, you’ll need to draw up the deed in accordance to state law for those who die without a will.

    Finally, you’ll need to sign the deed in front of a notary public. You’ll also need to have the executor of the will or the court administrator who issued you the deed sign it in front of a notary. You may need to include a copy of the will as part of the deeding process as well.

    5. Request a certified copy of your quitclaim or warranty deed.

    Ask for a certified copy of the quitclaim or warranty deed when you file it. You may need to pay a small fee, but keeping it on file can be useful in case of a future property ownership dispute or amendment.

    Need More Help?

    It’s a complicated process. To skip the headache or simply get an expert opinion, use LegalZoom. LegalZoom provides a simple and quick way to get legal services from qualified attorneys.

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    Rates last updated October 21st, 2018
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    265 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      EricaOctober 15, 2018

      I have a quitclaim deed and it has been filled with the court house.i must now sell my home how can I sell it without a warranty deed

      • finder Customer Care
        nikkiangcoOctober 16, 2018Staff

        Hi Erica,

        Thanks for reaching out.

        Typically buyers would look for a warranty deed for the purchase and sale of the property because it will give them a guarantee that no other person owns the property. In your situation, since you already filed a quitclaim, I’m not sure if you are still able to sell the property. Best to seek legal advice on this matter to carefully review your situation and follow a legal process.

        Hope this helps! Feel free to message us again if you have further questions.

        Cheers,
        Nikki

    2. Default Gravatar
      GwenOctober 15, 2018

      I had a contract for deed written up between a lady and myself which she broke and moved out of house and purchased another house. She will not sign to cancel deed so i have foreclosed on property. I am not sure what happens now…no one is really being clear with me. Will it be settled in court and then her name will be removed so i can sell the property as planned?

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaOctober 20, 2018Staff

        Hi Gwen,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

        If your property has already been foreclosed, then it is more likely that you don’t have any right on the property anymore. Normally, a foreclosed property goes to a foreclosure auction. What you can do is buy back the property from the lender or buy the property from the person who bought it from the auction.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    3. Default Gravatar
      anaOctober 9, 2018

      My husband changed his name legally, all documents the lot. But he never did this on the house deeds. He is transgender and has a female name. So does he still own half the house

    4. Default Gravatar
      TammyOctober 8, 2018

      I own a home with a boyfriend and am moving out. He is paying me the money that i put down on the house. He is doing a quit claim deed to get me off of the deed. Do we put the amount he is paying me for my part on the quit claim deed or does another document need to be done. From everything i have read there isn’t an amount on the quit claim deed but like a dollar.

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaOctober 13, 2018Staff

        Hi Tammy,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

        The quitclaim is primarily used to transfer the ownership interest of a real estate property from one party to another party. It is not used to declare how much money is being paid on the property. In most cases, a separate document is used to show the agreement between you and your boyfriend. It would be a good idea to speak to a legal expert to know exactly how to go about your transaction.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    5. Default Gravatar
      NoahOctober 4, 2018

      Some body grab our land 50yrs ago what procedure will I follow to remove him from the land

      • finder Customer Care
        johnbasanesOctober 5, 2018Staff

        Hi Noah,

        Thank you for leaving a question.

        It is advisable that you talk to this person first and seek a win-win solution to your problem. Seek the help of a mediator if needed. If you still want to remove his name or the problem wasn’t solved, you can file a partition action. However, please note that this can be a very expensive and stressful legal process.

        Seek legal help as well to learn more about what else you can do in your situation. Hope this helps!

        Cheers,
        Reggie

    6. Default Gravatar
      CeceOctober 2, 2018

      I had joint tenancy on a property in California with my sister and signed a conveyance deed so that my chpt.13 bankruptcy wouldn’t go after the property. But, I am still on the mortgage. What are the advantages and the disadvantages?

      • finder Customer Care
        johnbasanesOctober 4, 2018Staff

        Hi Cece,

        Thank you for leaving a question.

        A conveyance deed is a legal way of transferring legal rights of ownership of immovable property from one person to another. So in this example, your sister is the legal owner of the property. You would need to further speak with your sister and come up with an agreement on the property once your chapter 13 is done. You would still be in the mortgage if the mortgage was taken out prior to the conveyance deed being done. An advantage is that the chapter 13 will not be able to get that property since you signed it over to your sister. Disadvantage would be if your sister decides to completely remove you from the deed in the future. Hope this helps!

        Cheers,
        Reggie

    7. Default Gravatar
      ThandekaOctober 1, 2018

      Hi i would like to ask My father bought a house he put his sister on a deed of the house. Now my father gave me the house and Aunty refuse when I want do the change of ownership and she is fighting me. I’m the one who is staying in that house.
      Thank you.

      • finder Customer Care
        johnbasanesOctober 2, 2018Staff

        Hi Thandeka,

        Thank you for leaving a question.

        It is advisable that you talk to your father’s sister first and seek a win-win solution to your problem. Seek the help of a mediator if needed. If you still want to remove her name or the problem wasn’t solved, you can file a partition action. However, please note that this can be a very expensive and stressful legal process.

        Seek legal help as well to learn more about what else you can do in your situation.

        I hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        Reggie

    8. Default Gravatar
      LoriSeptember 27, 2018

      I have remarried since my house was put into my name. How do I go about changing it to my current married name?

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaOctober 1, 2018Staff

        Hi Lori,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

        Generally, filing an Affidavit of Identity in the deed records would be enough to note that you have changed your name. However, if you really want to officially change your title deed’s name, you might have to go through the quitclaim deed process.

        Before changing anything, I would suggest that you speak to an expert first to discuss the repercussion of such action.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    9. Default Gravatar
      RebeccaSeptember 26, 2018

      My elderly mother who I care for has title or deed of home in her and sisters name,she wants sister name removed but the sister won’t sign off so what can be done to remove her legally?this sister kicked her out of home after having her home put in her name,so now I care for elderly mother who can’t afford nursing care

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaOctober 1, 2018Staff

        Hi Rebecca,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

        It is advisable that you talk to your mother’s sister first and seek a win-win solution to your problem. Seek the help of a mediator if needed. If you still want to remove her name or the problem wasn’t solved, you can file a partition action. However, please note that this can be a very expensive and stressful legal process.

        Seek legal help as well to learn more about what else you can do in your situation.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    10. Default Gravatar
      KellieSeptember 19, 2018

      If I’m legally in charge of my deceased fathers estate can the living spouse who’s name is on the deed , sell the house without consent from myself?

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaSeptember 24, 2018Staff

        Hi Kellie,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

        If you’re legally in charge of your father’s estate, then it follows that at least you will be notified if the property is going to be sold or not. Since I’m not completely aware of your whole situation, I can’t provide a personalized advice. However, it would be a good idea to directly get in touch with a legal expert to learn more.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

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