How to remove someone's name from a property deed | finder.com
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 to use a quitclaim or warranty deed, 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.

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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190 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SherylApril 17, 2018

    My father has a POA for my mother due to her declining health. Before her health deteriorated and she was placed in a long-term care facility It was recommended they take my mother’s name off of the deed for their house. It wasn’t done at that time, but now my father wants to consider that. What would have to be done since she has diminished mental capacity?

    • Staff
      JoshuaApril 18, 2018Staff

      Hi Sheryl,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      I’m sorry to hear about the condition of your mother. Regarding your question, it is possible to remove your mother’s name from the deed even if she is mentally ill. However, the process can be more complicated compared to voluntary name removal.

      If the POA is still valid, that can be used by your father to remove your mother’s name depending on what is written on that POA.

      In any case, you may need to undergo judicial inquiry regarding the mental condition of your mother. If her mental condition is proven, then that can be a ground to remove your mother’s name.

      Please note that we are not legal experts. Thus, I highly recommend that you talk with a professional who will be able to completely consider your situation and provide a more personalized advice.

      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
    TeresaApril 2, 2018

    My ex husband and myself signed and had notorized that my name would remain on the deed and in the event of his death the house would come to me. Can I make him pay me to have my name removed from the deed ? And if he has already had it removed without my knowledge, what can I do ?

    • Staff
      JoshuaApril 2, 2018Staff

      Hi Teresa,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      Once your name is on the deed, you have full equal rights to the property. If your husband tries to remove your name from the deed, he would need your consent to do so.

      However, if your husband forces you to give up ownership, like what was mentioned on our page, the process can be complicated. Your husband “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

  3. Default Gravatar
    UnsureMarch 15, 2018

    I live in Oklahoma. My dad was seriously ill and I moved into the home he and my mom bought together to take care of him. My Mom had already passed away.
    The home is mortgaged. When my Dad’s health started really declining, he and I had my name put on the deed to the house. He has since passed away. I still live in the home. I pay the mortgage payments, but wonder what will happen if the mortgage company knew he passed.
    There is no estate to speak of. The bank account was joint between his sister, him and myself. My name was on his truck with his name. I paid all of his bills that came in after his death. I cancelled all of his credit cards. The house is the only loose end and I cant afford to hire an attorney to find out.

    • Default Gravatar
      ChristineMarch 28, 2018

      How and where do i go n get information to remove husband name off the mortgage. N how much would it cost me. N if i can do it meseld.

    • Staff
      JoshuaMarch 28, 2018Staff

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      If you wish to remove your husband’s name off the mortgage, you need to discuss this with your lender. They will be able to tell you what to do.

      There are different factors that may affect the cost of removing a person’s name from a mortgage. It may depend on where the property is located and the lender. For this reason, please directly get in touch with your lender to get an idea how much money you need to prepare.

      Yes, you can actually accomplish this by yourself. However, if in case there are legal implications that you can’t completely understand, feel free to contact a professional.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    • Staff
      JoshuaMarch 21, 2018Staff

      Hi Unsure,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      I understand that this can be very confusing.

      The mortgage company’s main concern is that you will be able to make the repayments regularly. As long as you are able to pay your mortgage, then you should be okay.

      Moreover, in most cases, if you were able to add your name to the deed, your mortgage company should have already been notified. It’s nearly impossible to add your name without your lender’s knowledge.

      If in case you can’t afford to hire an attorney, LegalMatch offers a free service that matches you with real estate lawyers who’ll listen to your case for free.

      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
    CollinMarch 13, 2018

    I have a title with two names on it and the other party does not want to be on the title anymore. What steps do i need to take.

    • Staff
      joelmarceloMarch 19, 2018Staff

      Hi Collin,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      The other party needs to file for 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.

      He can submit his 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.

      For professional advice, you can speak with a real estate lawyer to get personalized, direct advice.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  5. Default Gravatar
    AmyFebruary 20, 2018

    Hi, I put a, house that is clear free in my fiancie’s name and my name and he is willing to put it back into my name, but he is a vet and I was wondering if I could keep it in both of our names with a few stipulations?

    • Staff
      RenchMarch 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Amy,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Whilst we can only offer you general advice, I suggest contacting a real estate lawyer to assist you. This may be complicated because you’ll be adding conditions/stipulations on your deed.

      Best regards,
      Rench

  6. Default Gravatar
    MarolynFebruary 19, 2018

    I am the owner of my home but I put one of my kids on the tittle. I have never had him on the mortgage. He refuses to sign off on my home I am trying to sell. I am now loving in Senior housing and need to sell ths property. He has No money and cannot finance or take over the house.

    • Staff
      RenchMarch 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Marolyn,

      Thanks reaching out to us.

      You will need a deed of conveyance to remove a name from a property deed. A deed of conveyance is usually completed by buyer and the seller who is being removed from the title and deed. 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.

      I suggest consulting a real estate lawyer directly, you may click here.

      Best regards,
      Rench

  7. Default Gravatar
    AngelaFebruary 3, 2018

    The names/ owners on the property are 2 brothers. One brother wants to be removed. There are no loans or liens. House is completely paid off. Which form is best to use, to remove his name, Quickclaim or Warranty, deed.

    • Staff
      kathyclairFebruary 5, 2018Staff

      Hi Angela,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder, a leading comparison website and general information service.

      Apologies Angela, finder is a comparison and information service and we are unable to provide our users with personalised advice or product recommendations.

      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.

      You may contact a real estate lawyer for advice.

      Hope this helps!

      Kind regards,

      Kathy

  8. Default Gravatar
    LanceJanuary 31, 2018

    My two brothers and I are on the deed for my parents house. Both parents are deceased. The house is in an irrevocable trust in my mother’s name. My brothers live in the house. It appears the house was sold, but remains in the trust. How can this happen without me knowing?

    • Staff
      HaroldFebruary 27, 2018Staff

      Hi Lance,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Usually, the family members in the deed should be aware of the property is being sold. Have you got the chance to speak to your brothers about selling the house? Legally speaking, you should all come to an agreement if the property is to be sold as it could also mean changing names in the deed. 

      You’ve mentioned that the house is in an irrevocable trust in your mother’s name, so it depends on what is stated in the trust, but the property can actually be sold if it allows that. Please note though that even if the house can be sold, the proceeds must remain in the trust. I would suggest that you consult a lawyer about this to get legal advice.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  9. Default Gravatar
    SherrieJanuary 18, 2018

    My mom recently died. My father passed 13yrs ago. My mom left a will. I was told before I could start probate that my father’s name needs to be removed from the deed. How do I do that?

    • Staff
      RenchJanuary 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Sherrie,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      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.

      When one or more of the people on your property deed have died, you’ll need to transfer the property to its living owners. 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. You may contact a real estate lawyer for advice.

      Best regards,
      Rench

  10. Default Gravatar
    RoseJanuary 16, 2018

    if A friend and I own multiple properties and want to split our assets and take my name off some of the properties and hers off some what is the process and estamate cost? What’s the least expensive way?

    • Staff
      JoanneJanuary 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Rose,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      If you want to remove someone’s name from a property deed, you may complete either a quitclaim or warranty deed – this is otherwise known as a deed of conveyance. It is usually completed by the property owner leaving the deed and the remaining owners of the property, who intend to remain on the title. So before going through the process of removing someone’s name, an agreement from all parties should be achieved.

      The general steps on how to remove someone’s name from the deed are outlined on this page.

      The cost of changing the details of a property title differ depending on the state or territory the property is located in so please contact them directly to get the full list of fees and charges.

      If you need legal advice and assistance in doing paperwork, you may contact a real estate lawyer.

      Cheers,
      Joanne

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