How to Change Property Ownership
There are several ways in which you can change the ownership of property. You can give the property away, sell it or leave it for someone upon your death. Changing the ownership of a property is legally binding and should not be taken lightly. Property ownership changes can be done only through the use of the deed to the property.
The deed is a document that is used to transfer your interest in the property to a new owner. Choosing the right type of deed is an important part of the process of changing the ownership of your property.
Read your current deed to determine your level of ownership in the property. There are several types of property ownership, such as sole ownership, joint tenancy and tenancy in common. Depending on the type, it could affect the details regarding the transfer of your property. For example, if you have joint tenancy, the property is owned by two or more people in equal shares, and they must all agree to transfer the ownership of the property. However, if you have sole ownership, you do not need to confer with anyone to transfer the property.
Choose how you want to change the ownership of your property. This choice will depend on your situation. For example, you can give the property to a loved one while you are alive or choose to leave the property for a child through a living trust upon your death.
Select the type of deed you want to use to transfer your interest in the property to the new owner. Some examples of common types of deeds are quitclaim, sale and warranty deeds. A quitclaim deed transfers only the title in your possession at the time of ownership transfer. A sale deed also transfers the title, but it does not offer any warranties regarding the validity of the title, while a warranty deed does guarantee your title's validity. Choose the deed that best fits your situation.
Meet with an attorney. An attorney will ensure all of the applicable laws regarding the property ownership change in your state and county are followed. He will also draw up the paperwork and be able to explain any documentation and laws to both you and the new owner.
Take the deed to a notary public. Many banks, public libraries and law offices have a notary public on staff. In order for the deed to be legally ,many states require that the deed must be signed in the presence of a notary public. Both you and the new owner must sign the deed. Once signed, give the deed to the new owner to complete the change of property ownership.
Contact your county clerk's office to have the deed recorded. All changes in property ownership must be recorded at the county clerk's office. Depending on the office, you may have to set up an appointment to record the ownership change.