How to Transfer a Title Deed to a Spouse

Written by mike broemmel
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As the owner of real estate you may have a specific reason for transferring the title to that property to your spouse. The process is simpler than if you are involved in an arm's length sales transaction. (An arm's length sales transaction is one in which real estate is sold to a person with whom you do not have a pre-existing relationship.) Indeed, you can fully complete the transfer of a deed to a spouse the same day.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Quitclaim deed

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  1. 1

    Contact the office for the register of deeds, either by making a visit in person or through the agency's website. The office typically is located in the county courthouse or the county administration building.

  2. 2

    Request a quitclaim deed form. You may also obtain this form from real estate agents and brokers, lending institutions and office supply stores. Unlike a warranty deed, with a quitclaim deed, title to the real estate is transferred in "as is" condition. In other words, you are making no guarantee that there is not some unknown lien or other encumbrance on the property. Because you are transferring the deed to a spouse, you do not need to make the same types of guarantees you make when transferring a title to a purchaser you do not personally know.

  3. 3

    Complete the quitclaim deed. Filling out a quitclaim deed is not complicated. You insert your name, the name of your spouse, and the legal description of the real estate you desire to transfer to your spouse.

  4. 4

    Telephone the register of deeds office if you do not have the legal description handy. By providing the street address or your own name as the owner of the property, you will receive the legal description to the real estate.

  5. 5

    Sign the completed quitclaim deed in front of a notary public.

  6. 6

    File the quitclaim deed with the register of deeds office. At this juncture, the transfer of title to your spouse is complete.

Tips and warnings

  • For real estate transfers within a family, avoid warranty deeds and the extra requirements associated with them. Quitclaim deeds are nearly always for inter-family transfers. Additionally, quitclaim deeds are used during divorce proceedings as well. Family members--even after a divorce--typically are able to deal with any defect in title that might be discovered later. In a divorce case, the presiding judge in the case can issue an order establishing the manner in which a title defect is to be resolved, if necessary.

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