A deed is the document that reflects ownership in real property. A deed should be recorded with the appropriate county office that maintains records for all real property. You may need to change your deed for a variety of reasons. Any changes to a deed require that a new deed is created and recorded to replace the prior deed.  If a home was purchased prior to marriage in only one name, you may want to add your spouse’s name to the deed. If property was owned jointly during the marriage and only one party is retaining the property in a divorce, you will need a new deed recorded. Please note a deed is separate from a mortgage and additional steps may be needed to address financial liability for a property pursuant to a mortgage.

You may consider adding a child to your deed as part of your estate plan. You may also find yourself in a position where a new deed is needed during the probate of an estate to pass the property from the decedent to designated heir. Each county assesses a fee for recording a new deed. There may also be a realty transfer tax depending on the relationship between the grantor(s) and grantee(s) and the circumstances warranting the transfer. Transfers between spouses are exempt as are transfers to children. Transfers pursuant to a will are also exempt from a realty transfer tax however are subject to inheritance tax depending on the relationship of the decedent to the beneficiary or heir.