Do You Need A Lawyer To Remove A Name From A Deed?

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“There are various reasons why removing a name from a property deed is possible, including death, divorce, or changes in personal circumstances. If it’s your name, you’ll typically need to execute a deed of conveyance.”

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Do You Need A Lawyer To Remove A Name From A Deed?

Do You Need A Lawyer To Remove A Name From A Deed? Typically, removing the names from the deed and title of a property deed is the first step to eliminating ownership rights. To complete this process, it is essential to know more about the type of property you will be discussing because some types are better suited to specific deeds of conveyance.

It’s always a good idea to seek legal counsel and have your paperwork reviewed by an attorney before you submit them. The process varies by state and county, so check your local laws.

In this article about do you need a lawyer to remove a name from a deed, we explain when to use a quit claim deed and the risks of doing so.


Bit About Quitclaim Deeds

Essentially, a quitclaim deed means someone is giving up their property rights by signing a deed. Since no money exchanges hands, quitclaim deeds offer buyers minor protection.

It’s essential to remember that quitclaim deeds don’t affect your mortgage, so they’re usually between trusted people — family members or spouses, for example. All parties on the mortgage remain responsible for payments even if they remove a person from the deed.


Deeds: Getting Someone’s Name Off

How to remove someone from a deed in California? In the same way, you treat taking someone’s name off your car title as a new sale; you can’t simply remove it if there is an incorrect name on your deed. The other person transfers ownership to you by drafting a new deed. If the other person does not cooperate, hire a property law attorney to help you prepare a quitclaim deed.

How to remove a name from a deed? The easiest way is to use a quitclaim deed, which is the easiest option. Filing a death certificate at the County Recorder’s Office may not be necessary if the other owner has died. In either case, you can file an affidavit in court. You can file an affidavit in court if the other owner has passed.


Method 1

Use of a Quitclaim Deed

Unlike warranties deeds, quitclaim deeds carry no guarantees. Generally, we use quitclaim deeds in divorces or between family members who understand each other well.

When someone transfers their interest to you through a warranty deed, they guarantee that they have a free and clear title and the right to share it. Talk to an attorney if you are unfamiliar with the other party or must be on good terms. Warranty deeds usually require a title search, which is time-consuming and expensive.


Get a copy of the current deed.

A copy of the property deed is available at the county recorder’s office where the property lies. It is possible to obtain a copy of the deed by contacting the recorder’s office.

You will typically have to go to the recorder’s office in person for a copy of the deed. If you are searching online, you can do so. The process varies between offices, so you should check the one that is closest to you. Copying a deed may cost less than $10 at the recorder’s office.


Download a quitclaim deed form.

If you need help, ask your county recorder’s office or a real estate attorney for advice. If you need a blank quitclaim form, you can find them online. Ensure your format is valid in the county where the property lies.

The county recorder’s office may also have blank forms available. To find out where to get blank forms, check the office’s website or ask the staff. A public library or courthouse public law library may also have forms available. You’ll typically have to pay a small copying fee if you copy the documents from the books.


Copy property information from the current deed.

In the blank deed form, copy the property description, parcel number, and other details regarding the property as shown on the current deed.

Write the information neatly and legibly using a blue or black ink pen if you write it out by hand.

All information on the new deed must be the same as the old one in case you decide to mortgage or sell the property later. Proofread carefully and double-check everything to ensure it matches exactly as it was on the old deed.


Make sure that the other person signs the quitclaim deed.

A quitclaim deed must usually be signed before a notary public. We need a notary in some states, not just the one relinquishing property ownership rights.

Notarization is a good idea, even if it isn’t required. The notary will verify the individual’s identity and can confirm the individual signed the deed voluntarily. You will have an easier time challenging the property transfer if you have the deed notarized.


Record the quitclaim deed at the office of the recorder.

You’ll have to go to the county recorder’s office for the filing fee to record the quitclaim deed. County fees can vary but are typically under $50.

In addition, you may have to pay for the transaction in other ways to transfer taxes and fees. Contact the recorder’s office beforehand to learn what you need to do.


Method 2

Affidavits in Court

A deceased person may go through probate before getting their name off the deed. Probate is a court process that distributes the assets of dead people once their debts are paid. Contact the probate court where the deceased person lived if they left a will.

Your state may allow you to avoid probate depending on whether the deceased person left a small estate and you are the only heir. Other circumstances may also apply.


Consult a probate attorney.

You may still have questions that a probate attorney could answer if you don’t think you need an attorney to represent your interests. In most cases, the first consultation with a probate attorney is free.


Consult a probate attorney.


You should at least consult with three attorneys before hiring one. This way, you can compare their services and determine which one represents your interests best.

Request empty forms to transfer property at the office of the probate clerk. In states where inheritance is possible without probate, you must complete forms provided by the probate clerk, providing details about yourself, the deceased person, and your relationship to them.

The date and location of the deceased’s death. Your relationship to the dead. And your right to the property. It is usually also necessary to provide the legal description of the property, as well as the specific wording on the deed that describes the property’s interest.

If you still need a copy of the current deed in your records, go to the recorder’s office in the county where the property lies. Ask the law librarian at the courthouse if you need help finding forms at the public law library.


A notary must witness your affidavit.

A notary is typically required to administer the oath. An affidavit signed and notarized is legally binding when it is signed and notarized. As part of the identity verification process, you must bring a government-issued photo identification card or document when you visit the notary. Be sure to make a copy of the affidavit once it has been signed and notarized.


File your forms with the probate court.

A court order is typically needed when you claim an interest in real property. You must pay a fee for filing your forms – usually less than $50. Check with the clerk’s office beforehand to find out how to pay.

You must include all required attachments and exhibits, such as a certified copy of the will and a death certificate. If you want to keep copies for your records, take one copy to be file-stamped by the clerk.

Take your signed order to the recorder’s office. Your signed order should appear at the county recorder’s office. You should expect to pay a small recording fee, typically less than $50.

Some courts call you to pick up the order, while others tell you to return after a specified period.


Method 3

The removal of a deceased spouse’s name

Do You Need A Lawyer To Remove A Name From A Deed? Determine how you took the title on the current deed. Depending on how the property ownership agreement reads, you may only have to do something. If the property ownership describes itself as joint tenancy, the property ownership automatically transfers to you upon your spouse’s death.

Upon the death of one owner, you receive the other owner’s share automatically. There is no need to file another deed.

You may have to go through probate if you see any language other than “joint tenants” or “rights of survivorship” on the deed. The spouse may leave their share to someone else if you took the title as “tenants in common,” and you will likely have to go through probate.


Download and complete “change in ownership” forms.

In some states, such as California, real property owners must fill out a “change in ownership” form within a limited period after death. The conditions are concerned with the tax assessment. Your deceased spouse’s name may remain on the deed, but they ensure you’re not assessed for property taxes as though they were still alive.

You can pick up paper forms from your local tax assessor’s office in person. You can download these forms from the tax assessor’s or recorder’s office website. If you wish to file a change of ownership form, you should have an inventory or appraisal prepared. Work with the executor or personal representative of the estate if your spouse left a will.


Change of ownership forms for file files in the office of the recorder.

Change ownership forms must be filed with the county tax assessor’s office within 150 days of death. When filed with the county recorder’s office, these forms can also serve double duty as proof of death.

The personal representative of your spouse or executor usually fills out the forms. If you aren’t the executor, work with your spouse’s representative or executor to obtain copies. You will likely need to submit a certified copy of your spouse’s death certificate and these forms.

Record the deceased spouse’s death certificate. It is essential to record your spouse’s death on the property record if you owned the property jointly and had survivorship rights. This identifies you as the sole owner of the property.

Since no ownership changes, there is no need for a new deed. The owner’s interest expired when your spouse passed away.


Is It Necessary To Hire A Lawyer To Remove A Person’s Name From A Deed?

How to remove a name from a deed in California? Removing a name from a deed is a legal procedure that a lawyer should handle. It is essential to consult a lawyer before choosing the type of deed most appropriate for your situation.

Additionally, they will help you complete and file the paperwork correctly. Doing this prevents you from making mistakes that could later cause legal disputes or issues. Furthermore, property laws vary from state to state, so a lawyer can assist with navigating them.

A lawyer’s expertise is even more valuable in cases like divorce or death. It will make the process smoother and protect your interests if you hire a lawyer.

How much does it cost to remove a name from a deed? The price to eliminate names from deeds is contingent on many factors like where you live, the legal fees, and the difficulty of the procedure. Generally, it could vary from one hundred to a few thousand dollars. If both parties agree on the removal and there are no legal complications, the cost might be lower. However, fees could be higher if legal assistance is needed to draft and record the necessary documents. It’s best to consult with a real estate attorney to get help.


Without The Person’s Knowledge, Can A Deed Be Removed?

Can you remove someone from a deed without their knowledge? Remove name from deed without consent from the actual property title is illegal in California. To ensure transparency and avoid fraud, it is essential to obtain the consent of all co-owners before altering property deeds.

It is the owner’s responsibility to consent to the transfer of their real estate interest in California. Removing a co-owner without their consent and knowledge could be considered fraud, resulting in unintended legal consequences like criminal and civil charges. This action may not only violate criminal laws, but a wrongfully removed co-owner can file a civil lawsuit to contest or undo the change.

Transfer deeds become public records upon recording and are easy to track as ownership or changes occur. Providing the most up-to-date ownership information and ensuring transparency ensures that an owner may have legal recourse against the wrongdoer if they disappears from a deed. Property deeds are legal documents that transfer property ownership from one owner to another.

California requires that property transfer deeds meet specific statutory requirements, but they usually appear as warranty or quitclaim deeds. Warranty deeds guarantee that the transferor is the exclusive owner of the property and has the right to transfer it. In contrast, quitclaim deeds don’t ensure ownership or protection.

Because of this, quitclaim deeds only occur in a few situations, such as transfers among family members. It is essential to give quitclaim deeds the highest level of scrutiny when subject to a title search, as they are often used to change real estate ownership unauthorized to the owner.


Bottom Line

The basis for removing an individual’s name from a deed must follow when removing name from deed. An improper or illegal transfer can result if proper procedures are not followed. If you want to avoid the common pitfalls of going alone, consult an experienced real estate lawyer.

Hedy Ghavidel

HEDY GHAVIDEL Managing Attorney  Roseville Office  1-866-471-6981  Bio...

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