Hello, this is Dave at TitleSearch.com and AFX Title. In today’s video, we’ll address one of the most common queries we receive: how to change the name on a real estate or property title. It’s a process that demands precision and careful consideration. Let’s delve into the intricacies to ensure a seamless transition.

Understanding the Current Title Status

Before embarking on any changes, it’s imperative to ascertain the current status of the property title. Rely on a current title search rather than a deed you may have on hand. This step avoids the risk of transferring the title based on incorrect information. Start by definitively understanding whose name the title is currently vested in.

Scenarios for Name Changes

1. Family Transfer:

If the name change involves a family transfer, a quitclaim deed can be a suitable option. It allows for adding, subtracting, or changing names seamlessly within the family.

2. Marriage, Divorce, or Name Change:

Events like marriage, divorce, or a simple name change may require additional documentation. An authorization or an affidavit of name change might be necessary to validate the alteration.

3. Correcting Typos:

In the case of typos or errors in the current title, a correction deed can rectify the information. However, utmost care is required to ensure the correction is accurate.

Pitfalls of Using Quitclaim Deeds

While quitclaim deeds are commonly used, especially in family transfers, caution is paramount. Most properties with mortgages also have title insurance policies. Using a quitclaim deed might void the current coverage on the title insurance policy. Be vigilant, as title insurance is crucial for covering ownership, lien issues, and potential boundary problems.

Considerations with Mortgages

Changing a name on a property with an existing mortgage introduces complexities. Most mortgages have a due-on-sale clause, meaning the full mortgage amount becomes due if the property is transferred. While enforcement may not be immediate, mortgage companies can revisit this clause, leading to potential repercussions.

Legal and Financial Implications

When altering property ownership, be mindful of unintended consequences. Check for any potential conflicts with wills, trusts, or estate plans. Consult with a qualified attorney or tax preparer to navigate potential tax consequences, especially concerning homestead status in certain states.

Best Practices for a Smooth Transition

  1. Verify Legal Descriptions: Ensure that the legal description of the property is accurate on the current and new deeds. Even a minor error can necessitate revisiting the process.
  2. Search for Prior Names: Understand that changing a name may make prior liens less obvious in a title search. Verify that prior names are also searched for liens and mortgages to maintain a comprehensive record.

Seeking Professional Guidance

In the intricate realm of real estate transactions, seeking professional guidance is often prudent. Whether you have questions about name changes, legal descriptions, or potential repercussions, we’re here to help. Reach out to us at TitleSearch.com for expert assistance.

For more information or inquiries, you can visit our website at TitleSearch.com. Feel free to click the link below this video for direct access. We appreciate your time, and if you have any further questions about real estate or property titles, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thanks for watching, and until next time.