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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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