YOU ASK:

How do you change a property deed and how does it affect title insurance?

WE ANSWER:

A property deed is a legal instrument that is used to transfer ownership from the buyer to the seller.

Sometimes, you find that you need to change a property deed because of events that happen in your life. You may want to add a new heir or add a spouse as owner of the property. Or you may have had a change of name and want this reflected in the deed.

Changing a property deed will affect all contracts and documents that are related to the deed. This includes your mortgage and title insurance. The title insurance will be affected since there will be changes in the ownership. The policy will cover just your interests in the property (as you are the one named as the insured).

To avoid any problems with the title, you have to ensure that you are able to change the property deed properly.

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Check for accuracy. Make sure that everything is correct. Carefully look at the spelling and any other changes.
  • Contact all parties that have an interest in the change in property deed. Call your mortgage lender and the title company that issued the title insurance. Any changes in the property deed will materially affect your mortgage, as well as the coverage provided by the title company.
  • Check to see whether the mortgage lender or the title company has requirements you have to follow in order to keep the mortgage or the title insurance coverage valid.
  • Ask for legal advice. A lawyer will help you review the deed or he can draft it for you.
  • Make sure that all signatures are duly signed. This includes all interested parties (those who hold an interest on the property). Then make sure that the document is properly witnessed and notarized.
  • File the records at the county recorder's office.
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