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.

    What to do with your mortgage debt after a divorce

    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 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.

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    220 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      TheodoreAugust 5, 2018

      I bought a house before marriage. About 5 years later my wife aggressively pursued to get her name on the deed,mortgage is still only in my name..I allowed her name to get on the deed..Can I have her name taken off the deed Involuntarily?? We have been separated for 8years and I still have to pay my mortgage without any help from her..

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaAugust 13, 2018Staff

        Hi Teddy,

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

        Yes, you can remove your wife’s name from the deed involuntarily through a partition action. However, please know that this process is more expensive and stressful compared to simply getting her consent. For this reason, try to negotiate with your wife and find a common ground.

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

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    2. Default Gravatar
      JoanAugust 3, 2018

      My father and I inherited various amounts of property in state and out of state after my grandfather passed away. We own the property together as a 50/50 split. There are properties that I have no interest in, and properties that he has no interest in. Can we remove our names off the select properties without facing tax consequences by just doing a quitclaim deed?

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaAugust 11, 2018Staff

        Hi Joan,

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

        According to our page, a quitclaim deed is used to sign over a 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. However, giving up ownership does not necessarily release you from any financial obligation that you may have in regards to the property. For example, you may not accumulate new tax debt related to the property, but you are still responsible for the taxes that were due as of the day you signed the deed.

        If in case you fail to pay, the tax authority may force you to pay by taking legal actions. In some cases, the property may be sold and use the money to pay for the tax.

        Since we are not tax experts and tax laws can be complicated, I highly recommend you speak with a tax specialist or visit the tax office near you to discuss your concern.

        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
      DianaJuly 30, 2018

      My dad helped me get my first home but my name is also on deed, mortgage payments come in his name . Due to circumstances we have received foreclosure notice and are applying for HHF assistance but it will not work because my dad is main on the deed. Can I remove his name ?

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaAugust 7, 2018Staff

        Hi Diana,

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

        Yes, it is possible to remove your dad’s name on the deed. Since the home is still under mortgage, you also need to notify your lender and perform the necessary actions they ask you to do. Next, you can then apply for a deed of conveyance. If you have your dad’s consent, the whole procedure should be easier.

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

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    4. Default Gravatar
      KimberlyJuly 23, 2018

      Can an individual who is on the deed be forced out of the home from the other party using a vacate notice via the local JP courts? Papers were served to leave the property in 30 days. The deed has 2 names on it and neither has been removed from the deed so how can a vacate notice be served? The taxes are up to date and the mortgage also. Thank you.

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaAugust 5, 2018Staff

        Hi Kimberly,

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

        Yes, it is possible to force a person out of their house provided that there are legal grounds to do so. To serve the vacate notice, you need to present it to the person involved. If the person won’t follow the notice, then you might need help from local enforcers.

        Please speak to a legal expert to learn more about the actions you can take.

        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
      BarbaraJuly 12, 2018

      My daughter shares the title to my home by survivorship. She and her husband also live in my home with me. I want to move and turn the home and title over to her before I die. I’m planning on moving to a senior living community. Will filing a quitclaim be enough to do this? Will there be any fees involved? Thank you.

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaJuly 23, 2018Staff

        Hi Barbara,

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

        Yes, a quitclaim should be enough. The cost of filing a quitclaim deed depends on your circumstances as well as the state where you are living. The cost may range from being free to a few hundreds of dollars.

        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
      TaylorJuly 8, 2018

      My dad passed away 5 years ago and I inherited the house and land. I have an apartment that I let my grandmother rent out to help with their bills as long as she gives me my cut. My 45 year old uncle that still lives with them name got put on my deed after my dad passed to “help with paying taxes” Not only has he not paid a cent on land taxes with me. My grandmother has started keeping my portion of this persons rent money.
      It now seems like they only put his name on my deed so they have some kind of entitlement the that money and are using me. Will a quitclaim deed do the trick or do I need something else to get rid of my uncles name on the deed?

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaJuly 23, 2018Staff

        Hi Taylor,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

        Yes, you can use a quitclaim deed to allow your uncle to sign over the property to you. However, this only works if you get your uncle’s consent or cooperation. If he doesn’t want to give up the property, 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.

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

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    7. Default Gravatar
      JamesJuly 7, 2018

      My ex wife and I are divorced. The house was given to her in the divorce settlement. She has died but the Deed of Trust has both of our names on it. I would like to remove my name. I assume her next of kin now legally owns e the house since it was given to her in the divorce settlement. Should I simply do a warranty deed to remove my name? Thank you.

      • finder Customer Care
        nikkiangcoJuly 10, 2018Staff

        Hi James!

        Although the Deed of Trust doesn’t dissolve after a divorce, if the house was awarded to her then you’d only need to file a Deed of Conveyance. Use the steps above as your guide on how to file this document.

        Hope this clarifies!

        Cheers,
        Nikki

    8. Default Gravatar
      HalinaJuly 5, 2018

      Hi i have a question my husband end I we have a house together but my husband pass away 2 years ago and i removed him from the deed but now i want to put my daughter to deed can i do that and what i need to do ?

      • finder Customer Care
        nikkiangcoJuly 5, 2018Staff

        Hi Halina!

        Thanks for getting in touch.

        You can add your daughter’s name to the title deed by filing a QUIT CLAIM DEED where she is added on the original title document in a simple straightforward manner. However, a Quitclaim deed has no warranty as the grantee has the same power as the grantor. For this reason, it can be the most suitable method to transfer property between family members, as gifts or special circumstances.

        Generally, every case is different when it comes to adding a partner or family member to your property, so the Department of Land and Property Information recommends that everyone seeks legal and professional advice through the process.

        Hope this helps.

        Regards,
        Nikki

    9. Default Gravatar
      JoJune 24, 2018

      My ex wife is not on the loan of the house just on the deed but she disappeared it’s going on three years and I can’t do nothing with the house because the deed is in her name and mine how can I remove her from the deed if I can’t find her to sign it over

      • finder Customer Care
        nikkiangcoJune 24, 2018Staff

        Hi Jo,

        Thanks fo reaching out to us here.

        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.

        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.

        Regarding the loan on the account, 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.

        Hope this helps.

        Regards,
        Nikki

    10. Default Gravatar
      Ms.May 28, 2018

      My dad pass about 6 years ago my mom name was on the deed and before my dad died they put my brother name on the Deed, not knowing that my brother owed back child support how do we get his name off the deed Because now child support is going after the house and has put a lien on the house, is there Anything my mom can do? We live in Va.

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaMay 29, 2018Staff

        Hi Wilson,

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

        To remove your brother’s name from the deed, you will need to deed of conveyance. Please review the information on this page as it outlines the different steps you should take when removing a person’s name from a property deed.

        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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