Adding a name as joint tenant to property title

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Adding a name as joint tenant to property title

My husband bought his house a year before I moved in. We have lived together 11 years, married 4. I make all the payments on the house. My name is not on the title. With my husbands consent, what is the best way for me to add my name to the title as a joint tenant?

Asked on March 25, 2009 under Family Law, California

Answers:

R.C., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

California is a community property state, so under California law, the real property of either spouse is community property, owned by both.  Both spouses share ownership even if such is not spelled out, and if one spouse dies, the property goes in entirety to the other. So transferring the property by name is not strictly necessary.  But many spouses want to do so anyway.

   There are several common forms of deed transfer. One is called a grant deed transfer, which carries guarantees that the property is not encumbered with liens, or with pending lawsuits for example, and that it has not been previously been transferred to anyone else. Another common transfer is a quitclaim, which transfers just fine but does not guarantee any of the above.  And of course, you can refinance the real property in both your names.  Deeds must be notarized and "recorded", that is filed with the county clerk.  There may be other requirements, existing mortgage requirements perhaps, or tax considerations.

    Thus, deed transfers can be complicated. If you don't have expertise in the real estate area, you may want to engage an attorney in the transaction.


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