Can you Remove Someone from a Deed Without their Knowledge?

If you’re dealing with death, inheritance, divorce or a change in life circumstances you might be wondering if it’s possible to remove someone from a deed without their knowledge. The short answer to that question is no, you can’t quietly remove a person from a deed without their knowledge and permission. Only one avenue exists to forcibly change the deed status and that would be for unique circumstances that require legal action and a court order. So what does it take for a co-owners name to be removed from a deed? This depends on the situation and type of property:

Removing Someone From a Deed: Divorce

Removing Someone From a Deed Divorce

If you need to remove an ex-partner from the deed then a quitclaim deed is the simplest solution. This type of deed allows one partner to release their claim on the property, giving the entire interest to the other person. These types of transactions require that both partners sign the quitclaim granting the property to the person who will remain on the property. A quitclaim doesn’t allow for splitting the property or appreciation, it simply conveys the property in its entirety to one of the partners.

Remember though that a quitclaim deed may take one partner off the title of the home but it does NOT remove the partner from the mortgage liability. Because of this it is often more common for the person remaining in the property to refinance to take their ex’s name off title, or to sell the property outright and split any profit.

Removing Someone From a Deed: Death

Removing Someone From a Deed in Death

If you have a joint tenancy and the one of the persons listed on the deed has passed away then you need to transfer the property to its living owners. To remove their name from a deed you’ll need to provide three documents to the state’s clerk of courts or registrar. These documents include:

  • Death Certificate – Obtain a copy of the death certificate for the person you wish to remove from the deed
  • Notarized Affidavit- This document is a sworn statement that is used by courts to confirm the death of your partner and your new ownership.
  • New Deed- You will need to sign a new property deed, have it notarized and provide it to the registrar.

Removing Someone From a Deed:Inheritance

Removing Someone From a Deed via Inheritance

If you’ve co-inherited a property from a loved one then it’s not uncommon for one co-owner to want to sell the property while the other does not. If one person who inherited does not want to sell or buy out the other inheritors then the only option is a partition action. In a partition action the court will order all inheritors to sell the property to a third party, splitting the proceeds according to each inheritors interest. This would allow the inheritors who wanted to remain on title to purchase back the property if they so choose, but this process can be time consume and costly as you have to work within the court system.

Removing Someone From a Deed: Life Circumstances

If your situation doesn’t clearly fall into one of the categories above but you need to get a partners name off of the deed then you would need to work with the current co-owner to remove their name from the deed via a deed of conveyance. This change can either be by a quitclaim deed or a warranty deed. A quitclaim deed will suffice in most situations but look into utilizing a warranty deed if there are multiple owners on the property. A warranty deed doesn’t allow for future challenges to ownership so if you are concerned that this person will later change their mind and try to take you to court over the property then a warranty deed gives more protection with explicit assurance that nobody else claims to own the property.

To file a quitclaim or warranty deed you’ll need to do the following steps:

  1. Access a copy of your title deed to verify that it includes the name of the person you’ll be removing from the deed. You can get a copy of the title deed from the county clerks office.
  2. Print a quitclaim form online. The person who will be removed from the deed must fill out the form. If you’re using a warranty deed then get one from the county clerks office. These deeds must have the signature of the person removing themselves from title.
  3. Submit the completed form to the county or city office where you got the original property deed. Check with the local office to make sure there are no other needed paperwork.
  4. Ask for a certified copy of the quitclaim or warranty deed for your personal records.

Final Step: Removing a Person from a Mortgage

Don’t forget the final step, now that you have the person removed from the title deed they need to be removed from the mortgage. You’ll want to contact your lender to see what the best solution is in your situation. Getting a name off of the mortgage could involve refinancing or loan modification or a mortgage assumption. If none of these options work in your situation then you may need to sell the property.

Selling the Property

In some situations — such as inheritance or a co-owner unwilling to deed the property to you — selling the property is your only option. If you are interested in selling your property quickly, without the time and hassle of preparing your home for pictures, listing and walk-throughs then you should consider working with a house buying company like Gary Buys Houses. Not only do you save a lot of time but you can save a lot of money that would have gone towards repairs and updating the home in preparing it for sale. Gary buys houses in as-is condition and is prepared to make a fast cash offer today. He is willing to work with you in your unique circumstances, even giving you time to stay on the property after closing so you have time to relocate.

Working with Gary Buys Houses, a trusted name in Utah, you’ll be able to quickly sell the home and have a stress and hassle free experience. Contact Gary today by clicking here.

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