A deed is a legal document by which real property is owned, sold, and transferred. Once recorded in a local municipal clerk’s office, a property deed is a proof that the person named in owns the land described in the deed and all of the buildings attached to it.
A new deed must be prepared, executed, and recorded each time there is a change of ownership of the property. Besides a sale, other reasons for preparing a new deed to change an owner’s name might include marriage, divorce, and estate planning.
Adding or removing someone as the owner of real property is a process controlled by the laws of the state in which the property is located and could create legal and tax issues that should be discussed with an attorney in advance. In this post, we will discuss how to add a name to a property deed.
Review Mortgage Documents
Although a bank does not own property on which it holds a mortgage, changing the name of the owners on the deed could violate the terms of the mortgage and result in the lender demanding full payment of the loan. The best way to avoid problems is to contact your lender before changing the names on the deed.
A letter from the holder of the mortgage giving permission for the change of ownership will eliminate most problems, but getting such a letter is easier when adding a new owner than it is when an owner is being removed. Removing an owner who is also obligated to pay the mortgage loan will usually meet with resistance from the bank.
Changing the Deed
Adding or deleting an owner begins with the preparation of a new deed. Blank deeds can be obtained:
- Office supply store
- From an attorney
Fill in the information about the grantors, the individuals transferring ownership, and the grantees, the individuals who will be the owners under the new deed.
The new deed must include addresses of all of the parties to it and a description of the property. The description can be copied from the old deed. Once the deed has been signed by all of the grantors in front of a notary, it can be filed for recording in the local county clerk’s office.
Real property may be owned as tenants in common, joint tenants, and tenants by the entirety. Each form of ownership involves specific legal rights and obligations. The legal significance of each form of ownership should be discussed with an attorney before the deed is prepared.