How to change the name on the deed to a house

Changing the name on the deed to a house often accompanies catastrophic life events, such as death or divorce. It can also be required on happier occasions, such as a marriage or the purchase or sale of a residence. As with any legal matter, preparation and information are key. Armed with complete information, the actual process of making the change will not be daunting. A quitclaim deed is preferable for a simple transfer of interest. A warranty deed is the better choice when a property is sold.

Obtain a quitclaim deed online, from a lawyer or possibly from a title company. Be sure the form is valid in your state.

Have the granter, the party transferring the property, sign the quitclaim deed before a notary public.

Have the grantee also sign the quitclaim deed before a notary public if the parties live in a state that requires the signature of the grantee, the party receiving the property.

Make sure the notary public signs and stamps the quitclaim deed.

Record the quitclaim deed at the appropriate government agency, such as the Recorder's Office, the County Clerk's Office or the Land Registry. Check with the agency as to the best way to record the filing. Convey the document to the agency in person for extra peace of mind, if desired.

Tip

A warranty deed can provide greater peace of mind to the grantee than a quitclaim deed, as it assures the grantee that the property is lien-free and the title is clear. You may wish to consult with a financial or mortgage lending professional relative to tax, estate, or other issues that may result from changing the name on a house deed.

Warning

Always consult an attorney when entering into legal agreements relative to property. She will be able to advise you of any risks or adverse consequences that may attend your actions. A quitclaim deed does not assure you that the property is free and the title clear of obligations.

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Things Needed

  • Existing deed, or other proof of ownership
  • Quitclaim deed

About the Author

D. Laverne O'Neal, an Ivy League graduate, published her first article in 1997. A former theater, dance and music critic for such publications as the "Oakland Tribune" and Gannett Newspapers, she started her Web-writing career during the dot-com heyday. O'Neal also translates and edits French and Spanish. Her strongest interests are the performing arts, design, food, health, personal finance and personal growth.

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