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 that should be removed from a property deed, you’ll typically complete a deed of conveyance.

Eliminating the ownership rights of those listed on a property deed typically involves removing the names from the deed and from 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. Here’s what you should know about removing a name from a property deed.

Property deeds can be tricky

Don’t understand the mumbo jumbo on this page? Need help dealing with the trouble of handling your deed? Consult with a real estate lawyer who’ll listen to your case for free.

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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 property owner leaving the deed and title to the remaining owners of the property, who intend to remain on the title.

Removing a name from the property deed requires five steps.

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.

Forms of property ownership

Any transfer of ownership requires some knowledge of the form of property ownership under discussion, because each type is 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 on the other’s death.

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

  • A quitclaim deed. States that you have the right to convey a property without legal assurance that nobody else claims to own it.
  • A warranty deed. States that you have the right to convey 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 when the property has multiple owners, among other situations. 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 and 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.
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4. Submit the quitclaim or warranty form.

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

Some jurisdictions require additional paperwork to supplement the form, such as tax documents. Check with your local office to make sure you’ve completed all required paperwork.

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, however, 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 tells the person or group to whom the property is being transferred that the grantor doesn’t warrant what they own but is transferring the property the grantor thinks they own. A warranty deed more solidly guarantees that the seller owns and can transfer full and clear title of the property. It also certifies that the property is free of any easements, liens or other encumbrances on ownership.

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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52 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    HelenJuly 19, 2017

    How do I take my name off of property just learn that the land went to other relatives but I been paying the taxes on it for several yrs now and they wants it so I need my name off of it .

    • Staff
      AshJuly 20, 2017Staff

      Hi Helen,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      If you want to have your name removed from the property, you may need to complete a deed of conveyance which is either a quitclaim or warranty deed. In your case, a warranty deed can be completed as you are transferring the right to change the ownership to your relatives. Kindly refer to the guidelines above for completing the process.

      Also, it will be best if you will speak to a lawyer and seek legal advice.

      Let us know if there is anything else that we may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  2. Default Gravatar
    CyndiJuly 18, 2017

    If your spouse filed for divorce and the other one didn’t show up for court and both names are on the house does that mean he actually gets the house and can sell it without your signature

    • Staff
      AshJuly 19, 2017Staff

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      If the property is still both under your names, he may not be able to sell your property without your approval or signature. In this case, you may want to speak to a lawyer to seek out legal advice. For other instances, if you are looking at removing your husband’s from the property deed, you may refer to the above process.

      Let us know if there is anything else that we may assist you with.

  3. Default Gravatar
    LaurenJuly 18, 2017

    My husband and I are getting divorced and I would like to remove my name from the deed to our house. The current deed contains both our names. When filing the quit claim form, do I list us both as the “grantor” and then just him as the “grantee”? or am I just the “grantor” and he is the “grantee”?

    • Staff
      AnndyJuly 18, 2017Staff

      Hi Lauren,

      Thanks for your question.

      In a Quitclaim, the party transferring its interest is called the grantor, and the recipient of the interest in the property is called the grantee. The owner/grantor is the one terminating (“quits”) any right and claim to the property, allowing the claim or right to transfer to the recipient/grantee.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  4. Default Gravatar
    CezJuly 13, 2017

    Me and my wife have her parents house under our name. How can we remove at least one of us from the deed? To help stop hurting our credit if house is lost

    • Staff
      AnndyJuly 13, 2017Staff

      Hi Cez,

      Thanks for your question.

      To remove a name from the property deed, you may follow the steps we have listed above in regards to lodging a Quitclaim.

      Kindly note that the signature of the person granting the deed (whose name is to be removed) and the signature of the person receiving it must appear in the Quitclaim for it to be valid.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  5. Default Gravatar
    AlexanderJuly 8, 2017

    Can the person (who is not financial responsible for the mortgage) be removed from the joint mortgage (three more people remain in the mortgage), but in the same time this person will stay on the title of the property?
    Thank you.

    • Staff
      AnndyJuly 8, 2017Staff

      Hi Alexander,

      Thanks for your question.

      If the person is no longer financially responsible for making payments on the loan, the mortgage will need to be refinanced with another lender.

      It is your personal choice if you want to keep the name of that person in the title. However, it would be best to get in touch with a lawyer to give you expert advice on this matter.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  6. Default Gravatar
    DebbieJuly 4, 2017

    Can my husband remove my name from our house title, I’m in jail and he has a power of attorney.

    • Staff
      MayJuly 6, 2017Staff

      Hi Debbie,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Yes, it is possible so long that you both agree that your name should be removed. Otherwise, it could be a more complicated issue and you’d need to see a lawyer for any legal actions.

      Cheers,
      May

  7. Default Gravatar
    JaimeJuly 1, 2017

    Can a Quit Claim Deed be made to a Foreign property owner like an Offshore trust or company?

    • Staff
      AnndyJuly 6, 2017Staff

      Hi Jaime,

      Thanks for your question.

      Generally, a Quitclaim can be made to foreign owners. This may or may not apply to your situation.

      It would be best to contact a lawyer to get expert advice for your situation.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  8. Default Gravatar
    TammyJune 30, 2017

    Can my ex husband remove my name off a deed we had together on a house and we got a divorce and got married to another woman with out me knowing about the deed we have together

    • Staff
      MayJuly 2, 2017Staff

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for your question.

      Basically, when changing property ownership, either removing or adding someone to the property deed, all the co-owners should come to an agreement about which names will be removed/added from the title and why. In your case, best to speak to a lawyer for a legal advice.

      Cheers,
      May

  9. Default Gravatar
    Bmwx6June 25, 2017

    Me and a friend just bought a car together. We put both our names on the title and just paid the sales tax and bought new plates. If I decide to remove just my name off the title does the other have to pay the taxes again

    • Staff
      AnndyJuly 4, 2017Staff

      Hi BMW,

      Thanks for your question.

      Generally, There are no tax fees involved when removing a name on a motor vehicle title. But certain fees may apply.

      Kindly note that this is a general advice which may or may not apply to you depending on certain factors. It would be best to get in touch with the Division of Motor Vehicles in your area to inquire about the process and fees involved in regards to making this change.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  10. Default Gravatar
    FranJune 20, 2017

    How long does the process generally take?

    • Staff
      AnndyJune 24, 2017Staff

      Hi Fran,

      Thanks for your question.

      There is no definite time period as to how long removing someone’s name from a property deed will take place. It is generally on a case-to-case basis.

      For your specific situation, you may confirm this by contacting the local agency in your area that handles property deeds.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

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