How can I remove a relative’s name from my house deed/title?

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How can I remove a relative’s name from my house deed/title?

When I bought my property, I signed on with my spouse and a family relative. They are basically on the deed/title. Now, I would like to refinance my property and to also add on my next of kin to the ownership of the house. My family relative refused to sign any documents. He basically said, what does he get out of signing these documents? It sounds to me like he wants to get money out of this

situation. Bear in mind, this relative had never paid a cent to the house. What are some legal actions I can take without selling my property? I would like to keep my property for the future of my children.

Asked on May 22, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Once this relative's name was placed on title, he became a legal owner of the house. This means that without his consent, his name cannot be removed from the deed. This is true whether or not he put money into the house. Accordingly, as 1 of 3 owners, he is entitled to 1/3 of the net sale proceeds. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can't take his name off without his consent. Whether he put money into the house or not, by putting his name on the deed, you made him an owner of the house, and you can't take away someone's ownership intererst without their consent or agreement. You gifted him a share or interest in the house. If he is one of three owners, he is entitled to 1/3 of the equity (the proceeds after paying the mortgage and any other loans or liens, as well as the costs of sale). You need to negotiate something mutually agreeable with him, because he is entitled to his share of the equity.


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