How to add a spouse to a deed

5 Things You Should Know Before Adding Your New Spouse to Title

Congratulations! You just got married and now you want to add your new spouse to the mortgage or title of your home.

Putting your spouse on title (adding them to the ownership) is a simple process. All you need to do is have a grant deed prepared, sign it in front of a notary public, and then have it recorded. The cost is usually under $100.

However, adding your new spouse to title may not be a straight forward financial decision; and when dealing with your assets there are five things you should consider.

1. Keeping Your Assets Intact, Just in Case

Some experts suggest waiting awhile before adding a new spouse to title of your new home. The reason is that the assets you have before marriage are your separate property. So in the event the relationship doesn’t work out, you will still have access to all of your prior assets

2. Buying Another Property? You May Still Qualify as a First Time Buyer

If you want to buy another property, it may help that your spouse does not share ownership of our current home. You may be able to take advantage of him or her qualifying for first time buyer status. If you are planning on buying property together, have a lender qualify you now to see how your spouse affects qualification.

3. Is it a 2 nd marriage with children who might object?

If you have children from a prior marriage and you intend to give them the property after your passing, your children may be co-owners with your new spouse depending on how you chose to “hold title.” . Click here to download the PDF on How to Hold Title

If you are simply trying to ensure that your spouse is able to stay in the house in the event of your death, there are other vehicles to do so. For example, you could put in your will or trust that this is your wish.

Please contact an attorney for advice on this and your particular situation.

4. Does your new spouse have children that could have a claim should something happen to you?

If your new spouse has children from a previous marriage, then how you hold title could affect whether you become co-owners with them in the event that your spouse pre-deceases you.

5. Does your new spouse have creditors that could attach a lien to this new valuable asset?

Sometimes the person we love has credit we don’t love. If your new spouse has judgments or liens that are unpaid, those creditors can now attach a lien to the property and to force you to pay. They may also become inflexible when negotiating because they have access to an asset they know you do not want to lose. If this is the case, then I would definitely wait until the credit cleaned up.

Need some guidance? Be sure to take a look at my services page and contact me today for your complimentary 90-minute, no-obligation consultation. You can also sign up for my investment course for a personal learning experience.

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How to Do a Quitclaim Deed With Joint Tenancy in Florida

A deed is a document that shows the world that you own a piece of real estate. The deed shows who owned it before you and indicates that the prior owner has granted the interest to you. When you get married, in most states, any real estate you owned by yourself remains your individual property. To add a spouse to a house title, you can simply execute a new deed transferring title from yourself individually to yourself and your spouse jointly.

Types of Deeds

Title to real estate is determined by the laws of the state where the real estate is located; nevertheless, universally, there are two main types of deeds: warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds. These deeds both show a grant of an interest in real estate from one person or entity to another, but they are not created equal.

Quitclaim Deeds vs. Warranty Deeds

A warranty deed is a deed between two parties, usually strangers to each other, whereby the grantor (the person selling the property) promises, or warranties, to the grantee (the person buying the property) that the grantor is conveying good title, free of encumbrances and defects. For instance, in an ordinary home sale and purchase transaction, the seller must use the proceeds of the sale to pay off all mortgages, tax liens, water and sewer liens, judgment liens and anything else that clouds title, so that the buyer receives the house without any of the seller’s baggage. The warranty deed is the seller’s promise that title is free and clear, and also that the seller is the record owner of the property.

A quitclaim deed, on the other hand, conveys only what the grantor has. A property owner could technically execute a quitclaim deed to someone else and transfer ownership of the property without paying off the mortgage or any liens; the grantee’s ownership would be subject to the liens. A grantor could also quitclaim a meaningless interest. For example, a grantor could reasonably believe he has a 50 percent ownership interest in a property and quitclaim his 50 percent interest to a grantee.

If the grantee later discovers that the grantor only had a 25 percent ownership interest, the grantee is out of luck, since a quitclaim deed contains no warranties. Quitclaim deeds are typically used for transfers between family members, including spouses.

Types of Joint Ownership

When preparing a quitclaim deed or any other type of deed, the granting language must indicate the type of ownership being conveyed when the grant is to more than one person. The property ownership is called a “tenancy” and the owners are the “tenants.”

When multiple people or entities own property together, depending upon the state’s law, they can own the property as either tenants in common, joint tenants or tenants by the entirety. Married couples will typically own property together as either joint tenants or tenants by the entirety, depending upon their state’s law.

Joint Tenancy With Rights of Survivorship

Joint tenants with rights of survivorship own separate percentages of the same land, but when a joint tenant dies, the other tenants automatically own proportional shares of the deceased tenant’s share. So if you own 25 percent of a property and your father owns 75 percent, the deed provides that you are joint tenants with rights of survivorship. If your father passes away, you will automatically become the 100 percent owner. In states that do not allow tenancy by the entirety, a married couple should make sure the deed grant creates a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.

Tenancy by the Entirety

A tenancy by the entirety is a type of joint property ownership that is only available in some states, and each state views it a little differently. The basics, however, are the same; if a married couple takes title to property jointly as husband and wife, they own it as tenants by the entirety, which means they each own a 100 percent undivided interest in the whole.

Compare this to a joint tenancy, in which each owner is granted a percentage interest in the property. With a tenancy by the entirety, married spouses who own a house together both own 100 percent, even while they’re both alive, such that creditors of one spouse cannot use the house to satisfy the debt.

In some states, a tenancy by the entirety is presumed if a deed grants the property to a married couple. Some states may require the deed to say “husband and wife” while others may require the deed to say “as tenants by the entirety.” Review your own state’s laws to ensure that the deed is worded correctly.

Quitclaiming Property to a Spouse

When the time comes to deed your spouse an interest in the property, you can contact an attorney to draft a deed for you, but you can also go to the county clerk’s website and look for a form. The form will have blanks for you to fill in your name as grantor as well as your name and your spouse’s name as grantees. You’ll need to provide a dollar amount you received in exchange for a transfer (often between $1 and $10) and a legal description of the property. You’ll then need to record the deed with the county clerk or county recorder’s office for the county where the property sits.

Join the Community

How to add a spouse to a deed

Good title in property law refers to a title that does not have any encumbrances or liens on it. A seller often has to present good title in order to complete the sale of property, because it’s one of the key provisions of a purchase contract. The alternative name for it is a clear title. In the real estate industry, good title has become synonymous with marketable title, which means that a court of equity will find that there is no reasonable doubt that the property can be freely sold or purchased, and therefore the purchase contract can be enforced. Good title often refers to the legal or equitable bundle of rights in a property, which includes the right to exclusively possess, use, and enjoy the property and the right to convey or partition the property. The status of property title can be verified by examining records at the custodian of records, such as the Registry of Deeds.

A bad title is not only a title that is not clear, but one that a court of equity or a court contemplating equitable relief would deem non-marketable. That is, the court finds that there are reasonable doubts as to whether the property is free of liens and encumbrances, and therefore the buyer is not compelled to complete the sales process. If the title is marketable, then the court using equity law may declare it as good and enforce a sales contract.

Individuals often obtain title insurance if they are concerned about unknown facts arising after the sale and to protect against financial loss. It can be purchased to protect the owner of the property against claims of a faulty title or the buyer, and it’s often required by mortgage lenders on the buyer’s side. The reason is that the insurance company has to pay for financial loss due to bad title, as well as legal defense if actions are brought against the buyer. The insurance indirectly protects the lender’s interest in the property.

Real estate lawyers, property title search companies, and buyers can often search public records to determine whether the title to a property is good. Beginning with the seller, the buyer can research the chain of ownership to confirm that the seller is the rightful owner of the property and has the authority to sell it. In some jurisdictions, the examination of records to determine good title and issuing an option on the title is called an abstract. The buyer can sue the lawyer or property title search company for negligence if the title is in fact not a good title, and it may be the buyer’s only option if he or she did not purchase title insurance. A title insurance company provides an abstract, and it also insures against errors on its part.

How to Add a Husband’s Name to the Deed or Leave the House to Him in a Will

If your husband is not listed on the deed to your home, you may wish to make him a joint owner. It’s possible to add your husband to the deed of your home. It’s also possible to leave the house to him in a will, but this may not be the best option.

How to add a spouse to a deed

Making Your Spouse a Joint Owner

The easiest way to make your husband a joint owner of your home is to change ownership using a deed. There are several ownership options when it comes to adding a spouse to a deed, but the best choice in this situation is to create a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. This means you and your spouse are both owners and if one of you dies, the other maintains complete ownership of the property without doing anything to transfer ownership. It passes automatically. Some states have the option of tenancy by the entirety, which is similar to joint tenancy with right of survivorship. The only difference is tenants by the entirety both legally own the entire property, instead of each theoretically owning half.

Deed Transfers

The simplest way to add a spouse to a deed is through a quitclaim deed. This type of deed transfers whatever ownership rights you have so that you and your spouse now become joint owners. No title search or complex transaction is necessary. The deed will list you as the grantor and you and your spouse as grantees. The deed includes a legal description of the property, which you can copy from your existing deed. Complete the deed and sign it. File it in your country recorder’s office. Your state may require that an attorney draft the deed for you.

Transferring Property in a Will

Another option to transfer ownership of property is to use your will. If you wish to leave your house to your husband, you list him as a beneficiary and state that you are leaving the home to him. After your death, the will must go through probate, which is the legal process in which a will is validated and its provisions carried out. The probate process can take many months and there are fees associated with the process, as well as the cost of a probate attorney. Because of this, it is simpler and less expensive to simply add your spouse to your deed, rather than waiting to pass ownership of the property through your will.

Transferring Property at Death Without a Will

There are other ways you could transfer ownership of your home to your spouse. If you die without a will, your assets, including your home, will be distributed to your heirs according to your state’s intestacy laws. This method is not recommended because your assets are distributed according to what state law specifies, not in accordance with your wishes. Another option is to place your home in a trust and name your spouse as the beneficiary of the trust. The trust will then transfer ownership of the home to your spouse. Trusts can be a convenient and secure way to transfer ownership in a home, but setting up the trust is more expensive than simply doing a deed transfer.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

How to add a spouse to a deed

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Generally, property owned by people before they marry remains their own and separate from the marriage, although this isn’t always the case. If you marry and decide to add your spouse’s name to your home’s property title, this can change the house from being your separate property to being marital property. If you’ve decided to want to go ahead and do it, you’ll have to execute another deed.

Quit Claim Deeds and Affidavits

A quit claim deed is typically used to create new ownership of property, such as by adding your spouse’s name to your home’s title. The deed would transfer the property from you as the sole owner to you and your spouse collectively. Most states allow quit claim deeds to be drawn up and executed and then recorded in the applicable county’s property records office. You also may want to include a signed affidavit with your quit claim deed attesting that you’re voluntarily adding your spouse to your property’s title.

Valid Property Deeds

Valid property deeds must be in writing and both the giver or grantor and the receiver or grantee must be properly described. The parties involved in creating property ownership through a deed must be competent to transfer that ownership and capable of receiving it. Valid deeds must also typically include a granting clause with words such as “I hereby grant,” making the intent clear. You must sign the quit claim or other deed you’re using to add your spouse’s name to your property’s title.

Accepting, Notarizing and Recording Deeds

Your spouse must accept the deed you’ve drawn up to add her name to your home’s title. The deed must also be notarized. Not all states require that property deeds be dated, but it’s still a good idea to do so. Many counties also require that property deeds be recorded or filed with the county clerk after they’re executed.

Before Executing a Deed

Always consult an attorney before adding anybody, including your spouse, to your home’s title. If you have a mortgage on your home and you add a new owner without your lender’s consent, it’s possible that the lender could call the loan due in full immediately. adding your spouse as co-owner may require that you both jointly refinance the loan.

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How to Add Your Wife to a Property Deed in Arizona

The easiest way to add a spouse to the title of a home is with a quitclaim deed — a document used for a no-warranty transfer of real property from a grantor to a grantee. A quitclaim deed doesn’t guarantee that the seller owns the house without legal encumbrances; that requires a more complex legal document than a quitclaim deed. But a quitclaim deed is the usual choice for real estate ownership transfers among relatives. A quitclaim deed designed to add a spouse as a 50 percent owner would transfer ownership from the sole original owner (grantor) to both the original owner and spouse (grantees).

Obtain a blank quitclaim deed. If you are consulting with an attorney, the attorney will provide one. If you are doing it yourself, you can use a generic form and modify it as necessary for the regulations in your state. The commerce departments of many states offer a quitclaim deed specific for that state.

Fill out the deed as indicated. Fill in all necessary blanks, including the full names of both grantor and grantees.

Notarize the quitclaim deed. That involves signing and dating the document before a notary public to make it official. In most states, only the signature of the grantor is required, but a few states require the signatures of both grantor and grantee. Some states also require that another witness besides the notary be present.

Take the notarized quitclaim deed to your local county clerk’s office and have it officially recorded. There will probably be a fee to record the deed.

Note that when structuring a quitclaim deed to add a spouse, the original owner is both a grantor and a grantee on the deed.

Warnings

Some states do have additional requirements for quitclaim deeds (e.g., well disclosures).

  • The Red Carpet Broadcast: Quit Claim Deed; Quickly Transfer Your Property to a Family Member
  • Mortgage Fit: Quitclaim Deed: Document Transferring Property Interest
  • QuitclaimDeed.com: Adding a Spouse to Your Real Estate Title After Marriage
  • HG.org. “Contracts 101—Warranty vs Quitclaim Deeds.” Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
  • Realtor.com. “When Do You Need to Get a Quitclaim Deed?’ Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
  • DivorceNet. “Interspousal Transfers Versus Quit Claim Deeds.” Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
  • California State Board of Equalization. “Property Ownership and Deed Recording,” Page 7. Accessed Aug. 13, 2020.
  • Note that when structuring a quitclaim deed to add a spouse, the original owner is both a grantor and a grantee on the deed.
  • Some states do have additional requirements for quitclaim deeds (e.g., well disclosures).

Clayton Browne has been writing professionally since 1994. He has written and edited everything from science fiction to semiconductor patents to dissertations in linguistics, having worked for Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Steck-Vaughn and The Psychological Corp. Browne has a Master of Science in linguistic anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Putting your spouse on title (adding them to the ownership) is a simple process. All you need to do is have a grant deed prepared, sign it in front of a notary public, and then have it recorded. The cost is usually under $100.

Similarly, should I add spouse deed? While there are some good reasons to add your new spouse to your Deed, there’s also a reason why you shouldn’t. Ultimately, there is no right answer. When you put your spouse on the Deed to a property that you owned individually prior to marriage, you are creating what’s called a tenancy by the entireties.

Also asked, how do I add someone to the deed of a joint owner?

Adding someone to your house deed requires the filing of a legal form known as a quitclaim deed. When executed and notarized, the quitclaim deed legally overrides the current deed to your home. By filing the quitclaim deed, you can add someone to the title of your home, in effect transferring a share of ownership.

How do I add a right of survivorship to a deed?

Go to your local county reporting office and obtain two types of deeds to set up a right of survivorship agreement for real property (land and houses). The first deed needs to be a “Joint Ownership” deed. This deed will be signed by both parties, then filed with the county recording office.

How to add someone to the title of a house -Filing a Quit Claim Deed or Warranty Deed in Arizona

One of the services offered at Arizona Statewide Paralegal is the filing of a quit claim deed or warranty deed in order to add someone to the title of a house. In this article I will discuss more about the difference between the two types of deeds and the process we use for filing your deed.

What is a Deed?

When you own property you have what is called a legal “interest” in that property. Title refers to your ownership of the property. Evidence of that ownership is shown in the deed. A deed is a written document that transfers property ownership from one person or entity to another person or entity.

A quit claim deed transfers your property interest to another person or legal entity. When you sign a quit claim deed you do make any guarantees or promises about whether or not someone else also has a legal interest in the property. You are merely signing over your legal interest, if any, in the property. You are the grantor (giving the interest) and the person who receives your interest is the grantee. Quit claim deeds are often mistakenly called “quick” claim deeds.

Warranty Deed Vs. Quit Claim Deed

When you use a warranty deed, you are saying to the grantee that you guarantee that no one else has any legal interest or right to the property. You are providing a promise or warranty that the property is free and clear. Both types of deeds transfer ownership of a property from one person to another. However, by signing a warranty deed the grantor guarantees that there are no liens against the property.

The deed to your property specifies the type of ownership you have. For example, you may have sole ownership of the property, joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, tenancy in common, community property, community property with the right of survivorship, or a beneficiary deed. For informational purposes only, here are the definitions for each type of ownership.

Sole ownership is fairly straightforward. It means you are the only owner of the property. Joint tenancy with the right of survivorship is when two or more people have ownership of the property and when one of the owners dies, the property right transfers directly to the other owner who is still alive. Tenancy in common is when two or more individuals own property but each owner has a separate interest in the property with no right of survivorship. Community property is available only to individuals who are married to each other. They each own an undivided half interest in the property. Community property with the right of survivorship is also only available to individuals married to each other. When one spouse dies, the other spouse is entitled to both halves of the property. With a beneficiary deed, the owner records a deed that conveys the property when he or she dies to whomever is named as the beneficiary in the deed.

Quit claim deeds are most often used to transfer property rights between family members. For example, a quit claim deed might be used in a divorce where one spouse receives the family home as part of the divorce property settlement. Parents might use a quit claim deed when transferring property to their children. When getting remarried, a spouse might use a quit claim deed to add the new spouse to the property title. Quit claim deeds are also used when setting up a living trust.

Warranty deeds are most often used in a sale of a home between two unrelated parties. It is also one of the most commonly used deeds. A warranty deed is preferred by most title companies over a quit claim deed especially when refinancing a loan.

Once you have decided which deed you want to use to transfer ownership to property, you’ll need to gather some information to get started on the process with Arizona Statewide Paralegal. We will need to get all of your information, including how to contact you. If you have a copy of the most recent deed it is helpful as we need to provide the proper legal description. The information you provide should be from the most recently recorded deed. If the property is in Pima County we can locate the deed if it was recorded after 1986.

Arizona law has certain requirements for quit claim and warranty deeds. You need to include the grantor’s name. The grantor is the person or persons who owns the property. You will also need to include the grantee’s name. You can choose more than one person as your grantee or another legal entity. You will also need to include the legal description of your property. Make sure and use the legal description on the deed. This is the full legal description. If you use the legal description from your property tax statement, it may not be complete and it is possible that your quit claim or warranty deed will be rejected by the assessor.

You will then choose how the grantees will hold title to the property. You can choose as sole and separate property, joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, tenants in common, or community property with right of survivorship. When using the warranty deed or quit claim deed you also need to specify the exemption you are using that will allow you to file a deed when no money has changed hands.

According to the Arizona Revised Statues (ARS) 11-1133, the county recorder shall refuse to record any deed and any contract relating to the sale of real property if a complete affidavit of legal value is not appended unless the instrument bears a notation indicating an exemption. The most common exemptions are husband and wife (ARS 11-1134-B3), parent and child (ARS 11-1134-B3), pursuant to a court order (ARS 11-1134-A5), a gift (ARS 11-1134-A7), or person and trustee/trustee to beneficiary (ARS 11-1134-B8). In all, Arizona law has over 14 exemptions listed that do not require you to complete an affidavit of legal value when filing your warranty or quit claim deed.

If either the grantors or grantees are a trust then Arizona Revised Statutes A.R.S 33-404 require that the names and addresses of the beneficiaries and the names of the trustees are disclosed on the deed.

Arizona Statewide Paralegal offers the convenience of submitting all of this information on-line. We use a secure on-line system that allows you to complete all the steps necessary for us to prepare your quit claim or warranty deed. Once we have received all of your information, we will prepare the deed for your signature. Because you must sign as the grantor in front of a notary, we offer in office signing in Tucson, Phoenix, and Mesa. We then file the deed with the proper county recorders office. Because we have experience in all counties in Arizona we will ensure the correct process is followed.

You can also contact our office directly for an in-person appointment or consultation. We are certified by the Arizona Supreme Court for legal document preparation. Beyond just preparing your documents, we also provide complete case management for your legal document preparation. We go a step further, to ensure that your experience with us and most importantly your experience with your legal matter exceed your expectations.