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

Removing someone’s name from the property deed does not remove their responsibility to pay the mortgage on the property. You’ll need to consult your mortgage provider to change a name on the mortgage itself.

If a person is no longer financially responsible for making payments on the loan, you may need to refinance the mortgage with another lender.

It can be complicated to remove a person’s name from a property deed when they don’t want it to be removed. You may need to go through a partition action, which is a lawsuit that forces co-owners to give up their ownership interests. Partition actions can be costly and time-intensive, so it’s best to use a mediator first.

It depends on your state of residence. Excise taxes are taxes paid when purchases are made on a specific good. Speak with a tax expert to determine whether you’re liable to pay excise taxes when the deed is presented for recording.

A quitclaim deed has no warranties or title, and only operates to turn property from a seller to a buyer. So if the seller owns a home, he can give a quitclaim deed to the buyer, and the seller’s entire interest has been transferred. A warranty deed says there is no outstanding claims on the property. It includes a statement that the grantor owns the property free and clear of all liens. This deed most often represents a transfer of property, tells the world that the grantor is the rightful owner, and can transfer that ownership when it is sold or exchanged.

You can access a legal property description from your local county recorder’s office typically with your municipal address or tax parcel ID number.

Many states require that you use a witness in addition to a notary public in order for the deed to be deemed valid, including:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • South Carolina

Louisiana requires two witnesses in addition to a notary public. Michigan, Ohio, and Vermont have required a witness in addition to the notary public in the past but no longer do so.


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151 Responses

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

    • Staff
      GruSeptember 15, 2017Staff

      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

  4. 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

  5. Default Gravatar
    GenaSeptember 10, 2017

    My husband’s ex-mother -in-law had told us that she has a joint ownership with a man who is mentally unstable and he has threatened her life as well as her family members. And she wants to remove his name off of it, but he doesn’t want to sign his name off of it. Because she was wanting to put me and my husband on it, because she only has 6 months to a year to live. is there a way that she can get his name off of it. Plus he has the copy of the title and the original one. And he had left to go to Texas as well as having a bench warrant out for his arrest in Kansas, but he did not give her his mailing address. Could you please help us in the right dircetion?

    Thank you so very much.

    • Staff
      JonathanSeptember 11, 2017Staff

      Hello Gena,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      You need to talk to a qualified real-estate attorney about removal of this person. Your attorney will coordinate with the court in having a local newspaper do a “Service publication” to summon your missing person in court. If he doesn’t show up, depending on the type of ownership they have on the property, the court may decide to give everything to your mother-in-law, or have partition settlement, wherein the share of the missing person goes to a trust.

      Please take note that this is only a general advice, and some details unmentioned may affect its legitimacy. Also some property laws may vary from state to state.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  6. Default Gravatar
    AnnSeptember 7, 2017

    I would like to remove my domestic partner from our deed (possibly mortgage too but least expensive at moment) what is criteria for legally irresponsible?

    • Staff
      MariaSeptember 8, 2017Staff

      Hey Ann,

      You may need to consult a real estate expert for your concern should you need to prove that your partner is legally incompetent.

      I hope this helps.

      Best,
      Maria

  7. Default Gravatar
    LisaSeptember 1, 2017

    When my mom and dad divorced the put their home and land in my name and my brothers but my dad has the right to live there until he dies. Now they want to take my brother off the deed is that possible?

    • Staff
      MariaSeptember 1, 2017Staff

      Hey Lisa,

      If your brother agrees to have his name removed from the deed, the steps found on this page will guide you both through the process.

      However, if he is not willing, you might need to seek legal opinion on this.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers!
      Maria

  8. Default Gravatar
    kristenAugust 28, 2017

    My husband and I bought a house together and paid cash, the house is in both our names on the deed, I want to have him removed so the house is only in my name

    • Staff
      JonathanAugust 29, 2017Staff

      Hello Kristen,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Is your husband willing to sign the quitclaim/warranty deed to relinquish his interests of the property?

      If the usual answer applies (i.e. a big no), you would need to speak to a real-estate attorney about this as you may need to prove your cause. Is his name on the title due to fraud? Coercion? Or is he not legally competent? Etc.

      If he is fine signing it, you can follow the instructions written on this page.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  9. Default Gravatar
    QuitclaimAugust 27, 2017

    my name and younger sisters name is on a deed. I am getting older and she is at a responsible age. I want to file a quitclaim deed so that if anything happens to me the land will be free and clear to her. Do I have to attach a monetary amount to the transfer?

    • Staff
      MariaAugust 27, 2017Staff

      Hey there,

      It would depend on the type of ownership on the property but in general, there is no monetary consideration attached to a quitclaim.

      A friendly reminder that finder is a financial comparison website providing general information.

      It would be best to ask a professional to confirm this information. Should you need a lawyer for a legal opinion regarding this matter, you may check out this page.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers!
      Maria

  10. Default Gravatar
    AlyssaAugust 16, 2017

    Long story short my grandma passed away and my grandpa is deemed incompetent. What steps would I take to get them both off the deed to my home so I could see it? My name is also listed as a co-owner.

    • Staff
      JonathanAugust 17, 2017Staff

      Hello Alyssa,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Please be informed that finder.com is a comparison website and we don’t offer legal advice. Any input stated may vary if more information is provided.

      The path of removing their names would depend on the type of ownership existing on the property. Usually, it is only either joint tenancy or tenancy in common.

      Joint tenancy is a form of co-ownership where the surviving joint tenant immediately acquires a fee simple (or interest in the property) upon the death of the other joint tenant. Tenancy in common is a different form of co-ownership, where the survivor does not acquire the deceased tenant’s interest, but instead the deceased’s interest passes according to his or her estate.

      Thus, if it’s join tenancy, your grandpa’s ownership is evenly divided to your grandma (even if she’s deemed incompetent) and to you through right of survivorship. Herein, you would need to deal with the power of attorney of your grandma or anyone who can act of her behalf in updating the deed. Now, if it is tenancy in common, your grandpa’s and grandma’s (if the court would allow) interest will proceed to probate or to their heirs, while your extent of ownership would remain the same.

      We recommend that you verify the deed at County Clerk’s Office, Register of Deeds, or Land Registry Office, and talk to a real estate attorney to determine your course of action.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

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