How to remove a name from a property deed

How to remove someone’s name from a property deed

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 quitclaims, how you remove a name and what the risks are.

Property deeds can be tricky

Don’t understand the mumbo jumbo on this page? Need help dealing with the trouble of handling your deed? LegalMatch offers a free service that matches you with real estate lawyers who’ll listen to your case for free.

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 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.

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 LegalMatch to consult with a lawyer today for free. LegalMatch quickly matches you with the right real estate lawyer to help you go through the process step by step.

Common questions about property deeds


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162 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AnderssonOctober 19, 2017

    We are four in the deed, and mortgage. Me, my wife, and two sons.
    How cen we remove our son’s from both; the deed and mortgage?
    Because they owe up to 75,000.00 on children support.
    And we want to refinance to lower the interest.
    Best regards.
    Jalisco.

    • Staff
      MariaOctober 20, 2017Staff

      Hi Andersson,

      If your sons give consent to remove their names from the deed, you may follow the steps laid out on this page.

      Otherwise, you may need to go through a partition action to have them give up their ownership interests which can be costly and time-intensive, so it’s best to use a mediator first.

      You may opt to seek expert opinion from a real estate lawyer regarding this matter.

      For the removal of their names on the mortgage, you’ll need to consult your mortgage provider directly.
      This page on our Complete Guide to Comparing Home Loans may help you should you need to refinance the mortgage with another lender.

      Best,
      Maria

  2. Default Gravatar
    MemeOctober 17, 2017

    If 2 people are on the mortgage and deed and 1 person does not live in the house can that person enter and leave the house without consent just because there name is on it? They Are not making the mortgage payment .

    • Staff
      JudithOctober 17, 2017Staff

      Hi Meme,

      Thanks for contacting finder, a comparison website and general information service.

      Home ownership doesn’t require that he or she actually lives in the house. If his or her name is on the deed, he or she has an ownership interest in it, not living in the house doesn’t change that. However, leaving or moving out can affect his or her rights in other ways.

      Also, you may have to seek for a legal opinion from a real estate lawyer.

      I hope this helps.

      Best regards,
      Judith

  3. Default Gravatar
    BeckyOctober 14, 2017

    My parents died without a will, one of my brothers lived in it for years an me n him payed the property taxes,he just recently passed away.im taking care of house, other family members don’t want nothing to do with it , how can I get the deed in my name

    • Default Gravatar
      GruOctober 15, 2017

      Hello Becky,

      Sorry to hear about you parents’ and brother’s passing.
      I understand how difficult it must be for you to take care of paperwork and other legalities like this.

      You may be in a good position to get the services of a Real Estate Lawyer to guide you through the process.
      Please feel free to read on helpful information in our page here.

      Warm regards,
      Gru

  4. Default Gravatar
    EKBOctober 9, 2017

    Do back taxes need to be paid in full before a quick claim to a property occurs, so a new loan can be made?

    • Staff
      ArnoldOctober 11, 2017Staff

      Hi EKB,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      Yes, unpaid back taxes will make applying for a loan a tall order.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  5. Default Gravatar
    katSeptember 20, 2017

    if I gift a house , will that erase city’s lien on the house?
    Lien was not legal and I suppose it would not uphold in court anyway

    • Staff
      MariaSeptember 20, 2017Staff

      Hey Kat,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      As finder is an online comparison website offering general information, we are not permitted to provide personalised financial or legal advice.

      Since a lien is a legal matter, you might want to seek expert advice from a real estate lawyer.

      I hope this helps.

      Best,
      Maria

  6. Staff
    JudithSeptember 20, 2017Staff

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for reaching out to us.

    You may follow the five steps to remove a name from the property deed which was on the page you were looking at. Please scroll down so you can view them.

    You may also seek the legal opinion of a real estate lawyer.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Judith

  7. Default Gravatar
    NancySeptember 18, 2017

    Quick claim deed removing me of properties when I was married notary stamped and signed with my signature. I was not present for any of these transactions my signature isn’t in notary book . It’s been years . I just discovered this what are my legal options if any ? Thanks so much !!

    • Staff
      MariaSeptember 19, 2017Staff

      Hey Nancy,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      Since this was an unconsented transaction to remove your name from the deed, it’s possible that you’d need expert opinion from a real estate lawyer.

      Please note that finder as a financial comparison website providing general information is not permitted to provide users with personalised financial or legal advice.

      I hope you’d be able to seek the right professional help on this matter.

      Best,
      Maria

  8. Default Gravatar
    TommySeptember 17, 2017

    Hello i recently paid off my mortgage. My grandmom co signed for me and both our names is on the deed. I would like to remove her name seeing as though this is my house. She has no problem being removed from the deed. How should i proceed

    • Staff
      MariaSeptember 18, 2017Staff

      Hey Tommy,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      Since your grandmother agrees to have her name removed from the deed, you may proceed to do the next steps stated on this page:
      – Access a copy of your title deed
      – Complete, review and sign the quitclaim or warranty form.
      – Submit the quitclaim or warranty form.
      – Request a certified copy of your quitclaim or warranty deed.

      You may also opt to seek legal opinion from a real estate lawyer regarding the process.

      I hope this helps.

      Best,
      Maria

  9. Default Gravatar
    MaggieSeptember 15, 2017

    I need to remove my husband soon to be ex off of the house deed. He is willing to comply with no problems. How do I go about taking care of this.

    • Default Gravatar
      GruSeptember 15, 2017

      Hello Maggie,

      You are actually on the right page. You may follow the guide outlined in 5 steps to help you remove your husband’s name off the deed of your house.
      From the top of the page, just scroll down and you will see: five steps to remove a name from the property deed

      Alternatively, to assist you throughout the process of taking care of this, you may seek the help of a real estate lawyer.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers
      Gru

  10. Default Gravatar
    JoreneSeptember 15, 2017

    My boyfriend of many years died 4 years ago. I live in California and want him removed from the deed of my hose so that the deed is in my name only. He had no kids, no heirs. How do I do this?

    • Staff
      MariaSeptember 15, 2017Staff

      Hey Jorene,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      If you’re a surviving owner, you’re required to submit three documents to your state’s clerk of courts or registrar:

      – 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.

      Also, you may opt to seek opinion from a real estate lawyer.

      I hope this helps.

      Best,
      Maria