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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.

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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.

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307 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AshleyApril 21, 2019

    I’m coowner of a house and they are trying to throw me out. Can they go behind my back and take my name off?

    • finder Customer Care
      johnbasanesApril 22, 2019Staff

      Hi Ashley,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      If your name is on the deed of the house, 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. Consult legal advise to know your options regarding this. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  2. Default Gravatar
    SaraApril 16, 2019

    Myself and my exfiance bought a house from my grandmother back in 2013. My name is NOT on the loan, only his. BOTH of our names are on the deed. His parents gave $10,000 towards the down payment. My grandmother who we bought the house from signed a “gift of equity” to help us get to a 20% down. . . we have separated and he is living in the house. they are offering me only $1500 for the house to sign my name off the deed. They told me if the took me to court that I would walk away with $0. I need some guidance on what to do or where to go from here. I have not lived in the house for 3 years and all the bills ect were in his name. Only thing my name was on was the deed and gift of equity from my grandmother.

    IF they take me to court would I really walk away with nothing? or should I just take the $1500.00 – I don’t care about the house and want nothing to do with it but also don’t want to be taken advantage of….

    Thank you!

    • finder Customer Care
      johnbasanesApril 17, 2019Staff

      Hi Sara,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation, Sara. Due to the complicated nature of property laws, it would be a good idea to speak to a legal expert for you to know your rights on the property.
      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  3. Default Gravatar
    JimApril 14, 2019

    In the State of Pennsylvania, if you have three equal partners to a property and one partner passes away, wouldn’t the deceased partner’s share be divided equally among the surviving partners?

    Can a spouse remove their spouse’s name from the deed without their consent and both signatures on a sworn affidavit notarized in the State of Pennsylvania?

    • finder Customer Care
      johnbasanesApril 15, 2019Staff

      Hi Jim,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Generally, if a partner dies. The property share is divided among the surviving partners unless there is a will has been created that states otherwise or the type of ownership is different. You may want to check the page we are on under “Forms of Property Ownership”. For your second question, a Quitclaim is required to remove someone’s name from a deed. Consent is required as well for all parties indicated on the deed before this is carried out. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  4. Default Gravatar
    MarilynMarch 12, 2019

    Can I take my son’s name off of the title of my property? He hasn’t lived here in 20+ years and took out a joint second mortgage in my name then left me to pay off the loan.

    • finder Customer Care
      johnbasanesMarch 13, 2019Staff

      Hi Marilyn,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      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. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  5. Default Gravatar
    LucyFebruary 12, 2019

    My husband and I purchased a timeshare with another couple. My name, my husband’s name and one of the other couples name is on the deed. We are no longer getting along and asked to buy them out. They said no. Do we have a leg up because we have 2 names on the deed and they have one?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 13, 2019Staff

      Hi Lucy,

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

      Technically speaking, the three of you have ownership of the property and have rights over it. For this reason, it won’t be easy to remove the person’s name off the deed unless you come up with an agreeable solution. If you can’t agree, you might need to take a partition action against that person and force him/her to give up ownership. However, please note that a partition action can be very costly and stressful. For this reason, do your best to find a resolution before heading to the court.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  6. Default Gravatar
    HazelFebruary 5, 2019

    An uncle used his niece’s first time home buyer credit to purchase a property which he rents out to tenants. Niece now wants to buy her own house but that property is in her name. Is there a workaround?

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezFebruary 6, 2019Staff

      Hi Hazel,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You can transfer real estate to someone else by selling it, giving it away or leaving it to someone in your will. Transfers can be as simple as adding or deleting the name on a deed. Regarding the niece buying the property that’s already in her name, we would suggest that she must consult a property lawyer to discuss this matter.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  7. Default Gravatar
    RakeshJanuary 27, 2019

    When I bought my home I had my name and my brother name on the property and on the loan I had my brother myself and my wife name , now I just want my brother name remove from the property and with out touching the loan , my house might be 1.1 million worth can u pls tell me how much stamp duty I have to pay and is there any other way I can do where it cost me and my brother less, and property is under myself and my brother name he is happy to remove his name without I have to pay any money pls tell me which is best and cost effective way to do this

    • finder Customer Care
      johnbasanesJanuary 28, 2019Staff

      Hi Rakesh,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      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.
      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. You may want to check this link to know more on fees associated with property transfer. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  8. Default Gravatar
    LewisJanuary 17, 2019

    My brother and his girlfriend have been living together for about five years now. He just bought a house two years ago by his self. He just recently within the past year added her to the deed, but she is not on the mortgage. Unfortunately, they are parting ways and he wants to remove her off of the deed. What does he need to do to remove her from the deed? Can he do it without having to involve her?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaJanuary 22, 2019Staff

      Hi Lewis,

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

      I’m sorry to hear about your brother’s relationship. Regarding your question, since his girlfriend’s name is on the deed, it would be difficult for your brother to remove her name without her consent or involvement.

      To remove your brother’s girlfriend from the deed, he would need to file a deed of conveyance. Now, if your brother’s girlfriend won’t cooperate, a partition action could be an appropriate option. Please speak to a legal expert to exactly know what to do.

      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
    JacquelineDecember 27, 2018

    My step mother moved out of the condo where my father is. Can he get her name off the title? How long will it take for him to do this once shes established another address? They live in Florida. The mortgage is already paid off.

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 29, 2018Staff

      Hi Jacqueline,

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

      Yes, she can get her name off the title by following the steps mentioned above. In terms of how long the process will take, it should be less than a few weeks, depending on how quick you are in meeting the requirements.

      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
    MelissaDecember 25, 2018

    There is property that was left to my sister only because my grandmother thought she was her granddaughter,, but I am only sibling actually left. How can I take control of this property. And do I have a case if I wanted to fight this.

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Melissa,

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

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation, Melissa. It is most likely that you would need the consent of your sister to take control of the property. If your sister won’t cooperate, you might need to take a partition action, which can be costly.

      Due to the complicated nature of property laws, it would be a good idea to speak to a legal expert.

      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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