If a person holds legal title to a piece of property, short of getting a court order, there is little you can do to remove that person's name from the property without their consent. In the event, however, of death, divorce or other legal issues involving real estate, removing someone's name from a parcel of land may merely be a matter of obtaining the proper legal paperwork.
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Acquire a deed from the title holder. There are various types of deeds that may be used for the seller to convey to a buyer. With a warranty deed, the seller warrants title to the property to the buyer. A quitclaim deed doesn't contain warranties and only conveys to the buyer whatever interest the seller may have in the property.
Provide a death certificate to the tax assessor's office and record a survivorship affidavit in the real property records if the person to be removed is deceased and held title with you on a survivorship deed. Although title to the property would've passed to you upon the death of the other owner, the death certificate and affidavit would provide notice to any parties searching title to the property of the change of ownership status.
Probate the will of a deceased land owner and execute a personal representative's deed to the intended devisees under the will if the landowner to be removed died leaving a last will and testament and had no survivorship provisions in his deed and you are the executor or personal representative of his estate. Although the will acts as the conveyance document and probating it in the courts validates the bequests, or gifts, under its terms, recording a personal representative's deed aids in clarifying title issues in the real property records of the county where the property is located.
Obtain a divorce decree or clerk's deed divesting title out of your former spouse if you hold title jointly and the court awards the property to you in your divorce. A divorce decree should contain appropriate language to actually convey the interest to you. Consult your attorney to make sure the wording of the decree is sufficient to convey title if you are not obtaining a deed from your spouse or the clerk of the court. There may be other circumstances in which a court divests title or removes someone's name from title to property, such as a quiet title action involving title problems or a condemnation proceeding by a public authority who acquires the property by eminent domain.
Tips and warnings
- Consult an attorney prior to attempting any conveyance of property or initiating a court action to remove a name from property.
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- Bankrate.com: Understanding Quitclaim, Warranty Deeds on Property
- The Mortgage Professor's Website: What Joint-Tenancy Means
- Central DBA: Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant, Trustee or Spouse
- Southern Title & Abstract: Red Flags
- RealEstateLawyers.com: What Is the Difference Between an Executors Deed and an Administrators Deed?
- Douglas County Assessor: Property Title Conveyance