Adding your wife to the deed of your house is a task to complete after marriage. However, changing the title on your real estate is not something that can be back dated to the time you purchased your house. Procedures need to be follow to add someone to your deed so that you can both share ownership of your property.
A quitclaim deed grants all or a portion of ownership to another person or entity. It does not guarantee that you have the right to transfer it or that you own it, but, if you do, a quitclaim deed can be used to give your property to someone else. Also, a quitclaim deed does not warranty that there are no liens or other encumbrances against the title, which means that you can inherit mortgages and other claims to ownership. However, in a simple transfer of a portion of your property to your wife, it is a good option.
Hire a real estate attorney, use an online source or complete the quitclaim deed yourself. You need the names of the granter (yourself) and the grantee (your wife). You will be changing the title from your name alone to both of you in a designation that grants your wife half interest. Use your property tax bill to write the lot number and legal description of the property. Take the form to a notary to have it signed and witnessed, and file it at your county recorder's office to formally change the deed to include your wife.
A quitclaim deed changes ownership of the property, but it does not affect a mortgage or other lien. Even though you and your wife will hold title, only you are obligated to pay the mortgage. If you want to add your wife's name on the note, call your lender and ask if you can change the loan documents. However, most mortgage holders will require you to either have your wife submit a loan application or both of you to apply for a refinance on the property to prove that your wife also qualifies for the loan.
Understand that a quitclaim deed cannot be reversed. Unless fraud or other illegal activity was involved, the only way to change your title again is to sell the property or file another quitclaim deed. Also, upon the sale of a property, your wife may be required to quitclaim her interest to the new owners because she was not named on the original deed when you purchased it.
- The Mortgage Guru; Using Quitclaim Deed to Add Spouse to Title After Marriage; Steve Tytler; Sept. 2009
- Quitclaim.com: How to File a Quit Claim Deed; Jan. 2009
- TRCB.com; Quit Claim Deed - A Quickly Transfer Your Property To A Family Member; Kevin Pratt
- MortgageFit; Can Quitclaim Deed Transfer Mortgage Debt?; Jessica Bennet; 2006
- Lawyers.com: Quitclaim Deed Overview