There are several different ways to remove someone from the title of your property. How it is done relies solely on the reason for the removal. For example, simply transferring property within family members is a quick and easy process. On the other hand, if you need to remove a deceased person from the title, you will have a little more work on your hands. Following are the details for specific situations regarding removing someone from the title of your property.
Divorce Situations are Tricky
Divorce can be messy, but when there are clear cut decisions made by the court, everyone must abide by what is decided. If you have documents that show that the property is awarded to one partner and that the other partner has no interest in the property any longer, a quit claim deed can be prepared. This document will remove the person that no longer has an interest in the property from the title and give the other partner full ownership.
Tenants in Common and Changing Title
Sometimes two people purchase a home together that are not married. Whether this means a couple that is not yet married or simply two friends that decide to live together, the common way to own the property is tenants in common rather than joint ownership. If one person in the ownership decides that they no longer want to live at this property, they have to deed the property over to the other tenant if the house is not going to be sold.
Death can Complicate Matters
If someone that you own property with has passed away, changing title ownership can be a little tricky. How it gets accomplished greatly depends on the rules where you live and how the title was held. If you had joint ownership, typically the surviving spouse takes over the title and the deceased can be removed with a quitclaim deed.
If there was not joint ownership, removing that person from the deed can be a little trickier. If there was sole ownership, for example, the deed does not automatically transfer to the surviving spouse or any other surviving family members. The deed will likely have to go through probate and the court will award ownership to the appropriate party. The same is true for tenants in common; the probate process will have to take place first before anyone can take ownership.
Officially Removing Someone from the Title
Regardless of the type of ownership held, the bottom line is that a quitclaim deed will have to be executed at some point. This deed will transfer ownership from one owner to another. If all parties are still here with us, everyone involved will have to sign the document. If one party is deceased, his personal representative, as legally appointed, will sign for him.
The quitclaim deed is a simple process that simply details the property’s location with a legal description and accurate address. It also describes each person involved in the transaction, including the grantor and grantee. It is vital that everything in the document is accurate, including the spelling of everyone’s name to ensure that there are no legal battles or loopholes down the road.
The execution of the deed must take place in front of a notary public to make it official. This may or may not need to include witnesses that are not a part of the process. This will depend on the area that you live and your jurisdiction’s rules. Once the notary public signs and stamps the document as official, it can be brought to your county’s recording office to make it a matter of public record.
Once the quitclaim deed is officially recorded, the ownership has officially exchanged hands and the person you wanted to remove from the title of your property is removed. Typically, it is advised that an attorney oversees this process for you to ensure that the title is handled appropriately as even one small mistake could have the property landing in the hands of someone that you did not anticipate taking ownership. The attorney fees for the quitclaim deed are not astronomical and could save you many financial headaches in the future.