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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.

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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 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 LegalZoom. LegalZoom provides a simple and quick way to get legal services from qualified attorneys.

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    283 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      teresaDecember 7, 2018

      on a quit claim deed does the person s,name have to be on the title of the home

      • finder Customer Care
        ValDecember 11, 2018Staff

        Hi Teresa,

        Thank you for leaving a question.

        Yes, the name of the person needs to be on the title of the home because when someone signs a quitclaim deed, it means that they’re effectively giving up their claim or rights to the property.

        Hope this helps!

        Regards,
        Val

    2. Default Gravatar
      MoDecember 1, 2018

      My father in law passed. So my sister in law took my mother in law to a lawyer and did a quick claim deed changing the home to herself and my husband. My mother in law is Portuguese and is more understanding in Portuguese language. She thought she was signing over the house for when she passes not now. After all off this was changed my sister in law is not showing up or talking to anyone of us and is refusing to sign. What can we do to help.

      • finder Customer Care
        johnbasanesDecember 7, 2018Staff

        Hi Mo,

        Thank you for leaving a question.

        It is advisable that you talk to this person first and seek a win-win solution to your problem. Seek the help of a mediator if needed. If you still want to pursue a case against her, you can file a partition action. However, please note that this can be a very expensive and stressful legal process.

        Seek legal help as well to learn more about what else you can do in your situation. Hope this helps!

        Cheers,
        Reggie

    3. Default Gravatar
      SaraNovember 30, 2018

      My fiancée just recently purchased the home. He would like to add me to the deed. Is this legal and does it protect me in the event of his death that I would have rights to the home?

      • finder Customer Care
        nikkiangcoDecember 6, 2018Staff

        Hi Sara,

        Thanks for reaching out! It’s nice to know that you are added to a property deed. Your rights and obligations for the home will depend on what’s specified on the deed. As you are fiance and in the future wife all assets owned by one is shared by both spouses unless specified otherwise and in the event of the death, as you will be the sole owner, you will gain full responsibility of the property and all that entails as said in the deed. It’s important to read through the deed before signing up. Hope this helps and feel free to reach out again if you have questions.

        Cheers,
        Nikki

    4. Default Gravatar
      ShellyNovember 26, 2018

      My mother who is the mortgage holder on rental property had put my brother and myself on the deed. My brother has been overwhelmed by an opioids addiction. He doesn’t have valid id and is not available to us. Is there some way we can remove him from the deed so she can sell the house and use the proceeds to hopefully try and find him to get him help.

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaDecember 5, 2018Staff

        Hi Shelly,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I’m sorry to hear about the situation of your brother.

        You would most probably need to get a certification that your brother isn’t capable of making a sound decision because of his mental condition. From there, you can use that proof as a basis for your partition action, which involuntarily removes your brother’s name from a deed.

        Please note that we are not legal experts. For this reason, it would be a good idea to directly get in touch with someone who is qualified to guide you through this process.

        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
      MimiNovember 21, 2018

      My mother in lew died over 3 years ago my husband and I went on deed for the house after she die .me and my husband are getting divorced can the sister take back the house and say it was her mom if she signed paper over 3 years ago

      • finder Customer Care
        nikkiangcoNovember 30, 2018Staff

        Hi Mimi,

        Thanks for getting in touch! Since the property is now under you and your husband’s name, it is essentially yours and your husband’ s property. Now that a divorce is in the picture, you and your husband can speak to a lawyer to discuss the ownership to the house. The sister doesn’t have any ownership of the house at this point. Discuss the paperwork that was signed by the sister 3 years ago to see her entitlement to the house. Hope this helps,

        Best,
        Nikki

    6. Default Gravatar
      JoyceNovember 15, 2018

      How do you remove a person who has already loss a property in another state but also has joint property with a sibling who is now marriedo and has refused to removed their name

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaNovember 29, 2018Staff

        Hi Joyce,

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

        In general, it is easier to remove a person’s name from a property deed when you have their consent and cooperation. However, if they refused, you would need to go through a partition action, which is a lawsuit that forces co-owners to give up ownership interests. This process can be long and costly. Thus, it is recommended you seek 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
      AnnieNovember 15, 2018

      my husband and both his parents died, his name along with 2 surviving and 1 deceased sibling are on the property deed. They want me to sign him off the deed. Am I entitled to anything or will II loose anything if I do?

      • finder Customer Care
        nikkiangcoNovember 23, 2018Staff

        Hi Annie,

        Thanks for getting in touch and please accept our condolences. Essentially, in a marriage contract what your husband owns is also your own property, therefore, there is a chance that you have ownership to it unless otherwise written in a document. I suggest speaking to a lawyer to know where you stand before signing off on anything. Hope this helps!

        Best,
        Nikki

    8. Default Gravatar
      ElsaNovember 8, 2018

      My husband passed away and both of our names are on our house which is paid for, what do I have to do to remove his name from the deed?

      • finder Customer Care
        JhezelynNovember 9, 2018Staff

        Hi Elsa,

        Thank you for your comment.

        There are four methods to look out for when removing your deceased husband’s name off from the deed:
        1. Determining the Type of Deed
        2. Removing the Deceased from a Sole Ownership Deed
        3. Removing the Deceased without Probate
        4. Obtaining a New Deed

        It would be a good idea to speak to a legal expert to know exactly how to go about the process.

        Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

        Regards,
        Jhezelyn

    9. Default Gravatar
      CrystalOctober 26, 2018

      My dad added me to his deed to his home back in 2015. He passed away this year. Do I have to change the deed to just my name?

      • finder Customer Care
        nikkiangcoOctober 27, 2018Staff

        Hi Crystal,

        Thanks for getting in touch. Sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing.

        Yes, if you are the next kin, you can transfer the property to your name. You’re required to submit three documents to your state’s clerk of courts or registrar, including:

        1. Death certificate.
        You’ll need to obtain a copy of the death certificate to prove the person you’re looking to remove is deceased.
        2. 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.
        3. 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.

        Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

        Cheers,
        Nikki

    10. Default Gravatar
      EricaOctober 15, 2018

      I have a quitclaim deed and it has been filled with the court house.i must now sell my home how can I sell it without a warranty deed

      • finder Customer Care
        nikkiangcoOctober 16, 2018Staff

        Hi Erica,

        Thanks for reaching out.

        Typically buyers would look for a warranty deed for the purchase and sale of the property because it will give them a guarantee that no other person owns the property. In your situation, since you already filed a quitclaim, I’m not sure if you are still able to sell the property. Best to seek legal advice on this matter to carefully review your situation and follow a legal process.

        Hope this helps! Feel free to message us again if you have further questions.

        Cheers,
        Nikki

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