If you are named as a co-owner on a deed to real estate property, it is essential to understand the laws that govern the transfer of your ownership interests. Sometimes, when there is a conflict, such as one co-owner disagreeing with the other co-owner’s intention to sell the house, it may be tempting to simply take matters into your own hands and find ways to remove the other person from the deed without their knowledge. Learn what the rules are for removing co-owners from a deed and how a real estate attorney may be able to help.
Can I Be Removed From a Deed Without Consent?
If you are facing a conflict or disagreement with another individual named as a co-owner on a deed – which often happens with a spouse or children who inherit a portion of real estate – you may be worried about someone taking action to remove you from the deed without your consent. Fortunately, the law requires any ownership changes to be documented following certain prerequisites.
First, to transfer your ownership interests to someone else, a new deed needs to be properly acknowledged, recorded, and documented. Second, because your ownership rights are protected, your name cannot be removed from a deed without your consent and knowledge.
How Do You Legally Remove Someone From a Deed?
There are a few situations where someone’s name can be legally removed from a deed. For example, if a co-owner dies, the decedent’s portion becomes part of their estate and can be transferred to heirs or living owners.
Other situations, such as foreclosure, divorce, and government seizures for nonpayment of taxes, are also possible situations in which someone may be removed from a deed. The only ways to legally remove someone from a deed are with their consent or through a court order.
What Happens If I Want to Change My Deed?
There are different types of deeds and ways in which you can own a property in New York, whether jointly or individually. You can own property as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship, as Tenants by the Entirety, or as Tenants in Common, to name a few. Each manner of ownership has a different impact on your ability to sell the property in the future.
In order to change a deed, you will have to determine how you wish to own the property and which method of transfer is correct for you. If there is a mortgage on the property, it may complicate the process for transferring your deed. For instance, a mortgage lender may require you to refinance the mortgage in order to put the deed into another person’s name.
How Can a Real Estate Attorney Help?
A real estate attorney has the knowledge and skills to help you understand your rights as a co-owner. If you need to resolve a deed-related issue, wish to transfer the ownership of a property by changing a deed, or simply have questions, make it a priority to speak to a real estate attorney as soon as possible.