Removing a Name From a Property Title

Real Estate - July 1, 2022
Woman working online to remve a name from a property title

So you want to know how to remove a name from a property title? There are a few reasons why people may want to do so—for example, a death in the family, getting divorced, a real estate transaction, or some other big life change.

But first, let’s back up for a moment. When it comes to property, two of the most important terms are “deed” and “title.” The deed represents the right of the owner(s) to claim the property while the title describes who the ultimate holder of the property is. Deeds and titles both come into play when it comes to removing a name from a title as you must use a deed to make changes to the title. The kind of deed you use depends on why you’re removing a name.

There are five main things to remember when removing a name from a property title, but be aware that the process differs in every state so make sure to do your research.

Finally, you should consult a lawyer before starting the process—LegalShield members get legal advice on an unlimited number of personal legal matters, including removing a name from a property title, for low monthly subscription fees starting at less than $1 a day.

1. Talk about property ownership interests

The first step is to talk to your co-owners to try to come to an agreement about the removal of names from the title. If you’re removing your own name, you can agree on the details of the change, most importantly who it will be transferred to. To transfer ownership, you can use either a “quitclaim deed” (conveys the grantor’s interest, if any, to a grantee without representing that the title is good. This could mean that someone else might claim to own it, someone has an easement or lien, etc.) or a “warranty deed” (guarantees the grantee that the grantor holds clear title and has a right to sell it).

Quitclaim deeds are best for removing your own name, while warranty deeds are recommended for multiple owner transfers when all owners are transferring the property.

2. Get a copy of the deed

Next, go to the county clerk’s office and ask for a copy of the deed (or you can order it online if that service is available in your state) to make sure it includes the name you propose to remove.

3. Complete the transfer of title form

Get either the quitclaim deed or warranty deed form online or from the county clerk’s office. Keep in mind: LegalShield has a forms service center available to members—and membership includes legal document review.

As mentioned, to remove your own name, a quitclaim form is fine. Be sure to fill them out properly because otherwise, they won’t be valid.

To have a valid deed, the following requirements must be met:

  • Must be in writing
  • Both parties must have capacity
  • Name of grantor and grantee and description of property
  • Signature of grantor
  • Words of conveyance
  • Delivered to and accepted by the grantee
  • See your local guidelines for more information that must be included

4. Turn in the form and payment

Submit your form at the same office where you got the original property deed. Be aware that some states may need you to fill out more paperwork. This is when having a LegalShield membership comes in handy.

5. Ask for a certified copy of your quitclaim or warranty deed

Ask for a certified copy of your deed. This is important in case of a future property ownership fight. You may need to pay a fee to file it.

LegalShield can help

Removing a name from a property title isn’t something most people have to deal with often. That’s why hiring a real estate lawyer is recommended. LegalShield offers memberships for less than $1 a day, which includes unlimited help for a tiny fraction of what such services usually cost. LegalShield has hundreds of lawyers who can help you with title searches  and more. We’re here to give you all of the legal help that you need, so reach out today. We’d love to hear from you.

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