Is it better to refinance or file a warranty deed to put my name on the deed?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it better to refinance or file a warranty deed to put my name on the deed?

My husband owend our home before we got married. Now, his health is failing and
we are trying to get our affairs in order. I would like to stay in my home after
he dies. Which is the better choice refinancing the home neither of us have
great credit or filing a warranty deed? Which gives me the stronger claim to the
home, or does it matter?

Asked on May 4, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Refinancing does not by itself put your name on the title: owing money on a loan or mortgage does not automatically make you an owner (it just means you owe money on a loan or mortgage). You need to be put on the title, but to do that, you may have to also refinance so as to pay off the existing mortgage: generally, you cannot transfer ownership of property which has a mortgage on it without paying off the mortgage, including by refinancing and replacing it with a new one. So you most likely need to both deed the property to you and also refinance the mortgage. Consult with a real estate attorney about how best to do this: you want to make sure you do it right.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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