May 14, 2020

Learn the steps of Adding a Spouse to the title of your home.

Phase I – Adding a Name on Title

This is a three-part series on changing the title of real property.

Let’s say you are buying your first home as an individual. Sometime later, you meet the perfect life partner and decide to get married. You decide that you and your new spouse will share all your assets which include, banking, cars, and your real estate. The first change that could occur on your home during this lifecycle is to add your new spouse as a joint tenant so that in the event something happens to you, the property will be owned by your spouse 100% and avoid probate. If you are the spouse that currently is NOT on the title and something were to happen, because the property was acquired prior to the marriage you would have to go through the probate process to request that your spouse’s assets be awarded to you.

Nevada is referred to as a community property state. In regards to real estate, any property that was purchased prior to the marriage is not considered community property, and any assets acquired during the marriage is considered community property.

The important thing to note is that if you have been married for a while and you have been combining your assets it is important that you protect your home so that both you and your spouse are vested on title together either as community property with right of survivorship or as joint tenants with right of survivorship. In Nevada when changing ownership of a property, and in this case, adding a spouse, if the last names are different there are guidelines that must be followed to get the waiver to avoid paying transfer tax when recording the new deed.

The steps for adding a spouse on the title:

  1. Contact our office with the property information and both spouses’ names.
  2. We create the correct deed which updates the marital status of the current owner of record and adds the spouse on the title. We complete the state-required form with the correct language and exemption code.
  3. We schedule a signing appointment in our office with one of our notaries. In the event that either or both spouses are out of town, we can also email the documents to be printed, notarized, and mailed back to us for recording.
  4. We record the deed either electronically or in person.
  5. We mail the recorded deed to our client.

We are often asked, why can’t my title company do it? Title guidelines changed during the recession. The new guidelines stated that no new documents can be created and recorded by the closing agent which was not part of the escrow. Title companies often receive calls from real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and property owners to make these changes and they refer them to us.

In our next article, we will address the next step in the cycle, transferring the ownership. Generally, this is transferring to a living trust or business entity.

Quick Claim USA and its employees are not attorneys in the State of Nevada or in any other State or Jurisdiction. Quick Claim USA is not licensed to give legal advice and may not accept fees for giving legal advice. Should you have questions regarding any of the above items, you must seek the advice of independent legal/tax counsel of your choosing.

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