If My Name Is On The Deed Do I Own The Property?

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“The fact that your name is on a deed means you have property title, giving you specific rights as a homeowner. You are the property owner when your name is on a deed. A property’s title rights give you control over how you use it and the right to sell, but generally, it varies from state to state.”

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If My Name Is On The Deed Do I Own The Property?

Property rights, however, can be subject to certain limitations. You may face limitations in how you own property due to government policies, legal enforcement, and the type of deed you hold or shared property title. In our post today, if my name is on the deed do I own the property? If your name is on the deed, you will learn about your property rights in the next section.


Titles – What Are They?

In real estate, titles play a crucial role. Titles are legal terms that refer to ownership of something. A job title, for example, means you are responsible for your role. You may also think of the word “entitle” as someone who owns something. In real estate, that property is real estate.

You hold legal rights, ownership control, and responsibility over the home when you hold a title. Individuals can hold title rights, as can a married couple, a business entity, a partnership, an organization, and even a trust, where all parties are part owners and share responsibilities for the title.


Deeds: What Are They?

A title can only pass by deed. Deeds are legal documents that transfer property rights (title) to another. It is signed by the individual who sells or transfers the property rights. It seems pretty straightforward, but where is the confusion, and how can we tell the two apart?


Do You Have Any Rights If Your Name Appears On A Deed?

What are my rights if my name is on a deed? Your name on the deed means that you have title to the property, and as such, you have a “bundle of rights.” It is common for you to have the right of possession, which means you can possess the property, as well as the right of control, which means you can use the property; you also have the right to enjoy the property however you choose; you may sell, rent, or transfer ownership of your property as you please; or you may set parameters regarding who is and cannot enter and use your property based on your right of exclusion.

Although this will give you a general understanding of your rights if your name appears on a deed, you should always check with local law enforcement and government agencies for more details.

Your rights also have potential limitations, which can differ based on the circumstances.


An encumbrance is the first potential source of a limitation.

Restrictions and covenants on the deed can restrict your ability to use a property. The previous owners may have encumbered the property, limiting your use. Another party can also use the property if they have encumbered it. There are, however, some encumbrances that remain in effect regardless of whoever owns it.

A potential encumbrance that may affect your property rights is local zoning laws. According to local laws, a property can only be used for specific purposes, such as prohibiting the placement of mobile homes or restricting the type of animals a property owner can keep.

Financial encumbrances can prevent you from selling your property until you’ve paid off your debt. For example, if a lien exists on your property, you may be unable to sell it until you’ve paid off your debt.

When purchasing a home, it’s always a good idea to check local zoning laws and ensure the title is clear of any encumbrances that may adversely affect your ownership rights.


Ownership rights can also be affected by the type of deed

If your name is on the deed are you the owner? A property’s ownership rights can also be affected by the type of deed used in the transaction. You may be unable to improve a property under a Trust deed that secures a loan, for example, because it might damage the lender’s interest.

The transfer of interest is not always backed by a full warranty against encumbrances in other types of deeds. Your grantor may not have had a legal interest in the property or may have had a limited interest in it, so no interest or limited interest is yours.

The type of deed you use to transfer the title of a house should be stringent and intentional if you are buying a house or inheriting one. There is always a reason for the seller or grantor to use the type of deed that is in their interest but not necessarily yours.


Limit or expand your rights depending on the property ownership

If you co-own a property with others, you can limit or expand your rights depending on the property ownership you’re engaged in. Using the property for anything you want without extensive property law knowledge is impossible. You will need the permission of your co-owners for any property decision you make.

For instance, if you wish to sell your share in a shared property, you must get your co-owner’s approval. A co-owner cannot gift their interest in the property to a loved one. If you die before the other co-owners, your interest automatically passes to the surviving co-owner.


Does It Matter If Your Name Is On The Mortgage But Not The Deed?

You are not the homeowner if your name appears on the mortgage but not on the deed. Your name is on the mortgage, so you are just a co-signer. In this manner, you have to make all the loan payments, just like the homeowner. Having only one spouse on the deed is often inadequate for several reasons. You have all of the liabilities of the homeowner without actually owning the home.

A significant problem is if a spouse’s name on the deed dies. Usually, the property will be automatically transferred to the other spouse if both names are on the deed. If only the deceased spouse’s name is on the deed, this does not happen.

Instead, the property will pass under the will or intestacy laws of the deceased individual. There is a possibility that the surviving spouse will not receive the home in some cases.

When one spouse dies or cannot pay, serious problems may arise if you do not appear on the mortgage or deed. Thankfully, we can resolve this issue relatively quickly. A deed transfer attorney at Attorney Real Estate Group will help you resolve this issue and ensure your property ownership if you appear on the mortgage but not the deed.


What are my rights if my name is on a deed but not the mortgage?

If your name is on the deed but not the mortgage, you have ownership rights to the property but not the responsibility for the mortgage debt. This means you have the right to occupy, use, and manage the property but are not liable for the mortgage payments. However, if the mortgage is not paid, the lender can foreclose on the property, which could affect your ownership rights. It’s essential to consult a legal professional to understand your rights and obligations.


Does it matter whose name is first on a deed?

The sequence in which names appear on deeds typically does not impact ownership rights. If the person’s name is listed as the first, second, or last on a deed, it will not alter their ownership stake in the land. The ownership rights are determined by the form of ownership described by the document (e.g., joint tenancy, joint tenancy, or tenancy in common) and not the order in which names are placed.


How Does Divorce Affect Mortgages?

When it comes to finances, divorce is difficult. Unfortunately, New York has no law governing what happens to a mortgage that both parties signed after a divorce. It is communal property for both spouses in New York if you were married when you bought the home. As a result, a marriage separation agreement should become effective between the parties.


How Does Divorce Affect Mortgages?


It typically outlines what is going to happen with the mortgage and house. Generally, the spouse who remains in the house refinances the house and obtains a mortgage in her name only, thus satisfying the existing mortgage with both spouses and releasing the other spouse. If there is equity in the house, either spouse can agree to split it.


Is It Possible To Remove My Partner From The Mortgage?

Can you remove someone from a deed without their knowledge? Likewise, a spouse cannot take another spouse off a mortgage, just as a husband cannot leave his wife out of his will. Since the mortgage is an agreement between the spouses and the lender, both spouses are responsible for repayment in the event of default.

To reduce the lender’s collection avenues, one spouse can only be removed from a mortgage if the lender agrees or if the mortgage is refinanceable.


Is the Mortgage in Your Name, But the Deed Is In Someone Else’s Name?

There is usually no problem with having two names on a title and one on a mortgage. If your name is on a deed but not on the mortgage, it indicates that you own the house but are not legally responsible for the mortgage loan.

Even though only one spouse appears on the mortgage, the lender may still foreclose on the home if you default on the payments. As a result, even though you are not legally obligated to pay the mortgage, you must pay it to avoid foreclosure. There may be other issues, such as the unnamed spouse’s inability to deduct interest.


Is Adding Someone to Your Deed a Good Idea?

It is possible to avoid many of these problems by using a beneficiary deed, but your area might not allow you to do so. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can weigh your situation’s unique pros and cons if you want to create a joint tenancy deed instead.

Your new deed needs to be filed with your county recorder of deeds to ensure it is a public record. Regardless of your chosen option, remember not just to draw up a new deed and sign it.


Title Deed Name Change

Follow these steps to change your property title deed’s name:

  • Identify the reason for the name change, such as adding a spouse, divorcing, or changing your name legally.
  • Transfer ownership to the new owner by preparing a new property deed.
  • Ensure that the deed contains all necessary details, such as the property’s legal description, the current owner’s name, and the new owner’s name.
  • Deeds require the signatures of both the transferor and the notary public, so have them notarized.
  • Ensure that the new deed becomes part of the property’s public record.
  • By local regulations, pay recording fees and transfer taxes.


Frequently Asked Questions about Owning Property If Your Name Is On the Deed

When your name is on a deed, we receive these questions about the ownership of the property.


When It Comes To Deeds, Does it matter whose name is first on a house title??

Property deeds do not generally affect ownership rights based on the order in which the names appear. It is essential to specify in the deed what kind of ownership is assumed, such as:

  • Ownership sole
  • Co-tenancy
  • Common tenancy

Administrative or personal reasons may make the order of names important in some situations. This information may list a spouse or business partner in a specific order.


Is my name on the deed enough to evict me/Can I be evicted if my name is on the deed?

It is generally impossible to evict a property owner whose name is on the deed. However, let’s say there are unresolved debts, like mortgages or liens. A lender or lienholder may initiate foreclosure proceedings. The property could ultimately disappear as a result of this.

A joint ownership situation may also allow co-owners to seek legal recourse. Several things could impact your possession of the property, such as a partition or a forced sale.


Why Is Your Name Not On The Mortgage But On The Deed?

Suppose your name does not appear on the mortgage but is on the deed. In this case, you own the property but aren’t responsible for paying back the mortgage. Loan payments are owed by the person or persons named on the mortgage. A foreclosure may still occur if the borrower defaults on the loan.


Putting You on the Deed: What Does It Mean?

The deed includes your name as an owner when someone puts it on it. By taking this action, you acquire the legal right to use the property and the responsibility to maintain it. You may have the following rights depending on the type of ownership:

  • sell
  • Leasing
  • Make use of the property.
  • Profit or loss sharing
  • A deed may also entail the following responsibilities:
  • Taxes on property
  • Reliability
  • The property’s debts


Can someone sell a house if your name is on the deed?

If your name is on the deed as a co-owner, joint tenant, or tenant in common, the other owner(s) generally have the legal right to sell the house without your consent. However, if your ownership interest is held in a way that restricts the sale, such as a life estate or certain types of trusts, the ability to sell may be limited. It’s advisable to get the help of an expert lawyer to understand your rights and options in this situation.


Ensure Your Estate Plan Includes House Deeds.

You may have even come away with more information than you initially intended if you came here asking, “Do I own the property if my name is on the deed?”

The overarching takeaway from this guide is to highlight the complexities of property ownership. Although you may be the sole property owner, there might still be factors out of your control that can affect your rights. For example, local laws or other encumbrances can affect your rights.

A more complex case may arise if the property has multiple owners or you run into financial difficulty and your rights suffer.

Regardless of your circumstances, you must understand how much interest you have in your property and how that interest exists. To determine your ownership structure, interest, rights, and any applicable encumbrances or limitations to those rights, you need to know what deed you used.

When you take the time to examine your deed and understand your property rights, you should also make sure your deeds are part of your estate plan while doing so. It’s essential to include assets and property in your estate plan.

You should also ensure that you align your property rights with how you plan to bequeath your property. If your spouse co-owned your house, it doesn’t make sense to bequeath it to your stepchild. It is essential to understand your property rights when planning your estate.


Bottom Line

We are here if you need help establishing, reviewing, or updating your estate plan. Using our user-friendly platform, individuals like you can easily protect their assets.

Hedy Ghavidel

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

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