There comes a time when you may not be selling your house, but want to transfer or change the title of a property that you own. Some instances are where you are going to be using the property as a rental and want to transfer it to an LLC, placing the property in a family trust, adding a child to the deed, or removing a party from the title with a quitclaim deed after a divorce. There are lots of reasons that people do change the title, not just when buying or selling a home.
You can do this by yourself, with some pre-printed forms and a notary, but in the time since you have purchased your home and when you wish to transfer or change the title, issues may have arisen that could cloud the title. This can make a big difference should any of those clouds blow up into a legal storm. Since you need to know about any issues affecting title, it’s in your best interests to have a title company undertake a title search and make sure that your title is clear and transferable, and that any issues that arise will be covered by title insurance.
The method of changing the title depends on your circumstances, and it’s advisable that you consult with an attorney, insurance agent, and an accountant so that you can get the big picture on how this will affect your taxes, estate planning, and even your insurance liability. Giving a partial interest to someone can change their tax picture, their liability, and even cause clouds on the title should they have judgements or liens against them. Once that property is in someone’s name, it’s going to be very difficult to remove them involuntarily from the title short of taking legal action.
You’ll also need different documents depending on what type of transfer you’re looking to execute. For example, if you are transferring a property to an LLC since you’re going to be renting it out, you’ll need the articles of incorporation. If you’re transferring the property to a family trust as part of your estate, you’ll need to have the certificate of trust. If the deed is being changed due to the death of an owner and being conveyed to the surviving spouse, a copy of the will and a death certificate are part of the documents you’ll need.
Once the title search is finished, and the documentation requirements are satisfied, you will be able to transfer title. While it’s not difficult to do, this is a specialized type of transaction, and not a good candidate for a DIY. Consult with an accountant to understand the financial aspect, an insurance agent to understand liability and other insurance issues, consult with an attorney before anything is notarized, and bring all your title questions to us. We’ll do a thorough search, and issue a comprehensive report, and insure your title to make sure that your property is secured against any unforeseen claims.
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