How to change name on property title deeds in Florida

If you have an interest in a piece of real estate, your ownership is reflected by your name on the deed. There are all sorts of reasons, short of a sale or purchase, requiring a na

How to change name on property title deeds in Florida

If you have an interest in a piece of real estate, your ownership is reflected by your name on the deed. There are all sorts of reasons, short of a sale or purchase, requiring a name change on a real estate deed. Life happens, and that means marriage, divorce, death or just the changing of a legal name. Its important that your real estate deeds reflect your current legal name and having your legal name on the deed makes the process much smoother if you want to put your property on the market or take out another mortgage.

When to Change the Name on the Deed

Perhaps you and your significant other purchased a house together prior to marriage, and now that youve tied the name, youve legally taken your spouses name. While changing the name on the deed isnt something you must do immediately, its probably wise not to wait too long before making the switch. Thats because life continues to happen, and you want to be prepared. However, if something unexpected does happen and you havent yet changed the name on the deed, there are other ways to prove who you are. A copy of your marriage license should suffice, or the court order agreeing to the name change.

If your spouse has died and the property was owned jointly with right of survivorship, you dont have to change the deed to reflect that the property is now owned by just one person. If you decide to sell your home or take out a mortgage, its just a matter of explaining in the new deed or new mortgage that your spouse has died.

Quitclaim Deeds

Perhaps the easiest way to change a name on a real estate deed is via a quitclaim deed. This is also the least expensive method, and you can download these forms online. While quitclaim deeds arent recommended between parties who dont know each other  since no warranties are included  but they are suitable for divorcing couples who agree that one spouse receives the property; adding another owner to the deed, and legal name changes, whether through marriage or the court.

The quitclaim deed form must include the propertys legal description, the county in which the property is located, the date of the transfer, and the name of the person transferring the property, known as the grantor, and the name of the person receiving the property, or grantee. If you are transferring the property to yourself under your new name, all you have to do is update the deed from your former name to your current one. Youll find the legal description of the property on your current deed. While all quitclaim deeds require notarization, in some states a witness to the transfer is required.

Keep in mind that laws regarding quitclaim deeds vary by state, so find out exactly what your state requires in terms of notarization, recording and other details. For example, in most states, the grantee does not have to sign the deed, but that is not true everywhere.

Formerly Known As

If you are the sole owner of the property and want to change your name on the deed, in some states you file a quitclaim deed to your new name using the formerly known as (FKA) with your prior name. This deed is then filed, and a new deed is then filed back to you using just your current name. Fill out the first deed by signing your name as Jane Jones, FKA Jane Smith. Your title insurance company may have a preference as to exactly how FKAs are signed, and a quick phone call or email to them should get you the information you seek.

However, if the deed has both you and your spouse as the property owners, you need only record one deed. Use your FKA name as the grantor and your new name as the grantee. As noted, check with your state to ensure you are followings its regulations.

Recording the Quitclaim Deed

Depending on your state, you must file your quitclaim deed with either the county clerk or the recorder in the town in which the property is located. Have the quitclaim deed properly notarized beforehand. Expect to pay a nominal recording fee. Once the quitclaim deed is recorded, anyone performing a title search will find your new name on the deed.

Contact an Attorney

While a quitclaim deed is the easiest way to make a name change on a deed, some people may feel more comfortable consulting an attorney to have these changes made. That may also prove a good idea during a divorce, especially if you and your former spouses relationship is far from amicable.

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