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To remove a person from the title of a house while keeping the ownership of the property intact, you will have to go through a legal process and almost certainly hire a real estate lawyer. Whether the person you want to be removed is alive or deceased will have an impact on the legal process to get the job done.

If you want to remove a person who is still alive (and legally competent) the easiest way to get their name off the title to the house is for them to sign a deed transferring his or her ownership to the remaining title holders. All co-owners involved would agree to sign a deed transferring their interest to the person who will remain on title.  If any money will be changing hands in exchange for the deed, the parties should sign a contract outlining the payment(s) involved and the terms of the transfer.

Regardless of which route is taken, you almost certainly will have to work with a local real estate attorney. Before meeting with the attorney, gather all documents related to the property, including the deed.  If it is an agreed-upon transfer, the attorney will probably prepare a quitclaim deed, which is a document used to transfer ownership interest in a property. The deed must have the legal description, address, tax ID/parcel number; and be signed, dated, and notarized. Once the deed is completed you will have to take it to the county recording office with payment.  Each county’s recording fee is different, so make sure you check the appropriate website for the fee.

Once all this is completed (or even before), make sure to research any potential mortgage issues or property tax considerations. You will want to notify your mortgage lender and update your homeowner’s insurance.

If the person you are trying to remove from the title is deceased, at a minimum, you will need to obtain and provide a death certificate.  Additionally, you may have to produce a signed & notarized affidavit stating reciting the fact that a joint owner is deceased and confirming the ownership between the parties was joint ownership.

Finally, if you are trying to remove a person who does not want to transfer his or her ownership interest, a lawsuit can be filed. Remember, the other party has an ownership interest in the property and could try to require you to buy them out, depending on the circumstances surrounding your ownership.

Whatever situation you have, it is highly advisable that you get an attorney involved to do a title search and prepare a deed for you.  Please contact us and let us go to work for you.