Do I need a lawyer to change my deed to my married name? I am not adding my husband, just changing my last name on the deed.

Asked over 4 years ago - Buffalo, NY

I would like my deed to have my new married name. The house is in my name, no mortgage.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Ellen A. Victor

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . While I agree with most of what Mr. Myers stated as far as changing the name on the deed, I would disagree that the simple fact of your marriage will automatically make your husband an equitable owner of the property.

    Property you owned prior to your marriage, and other assets you keep in separate name, or receive by either inheritance or gift and keep separate can remain your separate property. You would need to make sure you did nothing to jeopardize the separate nature of the property. I would seek an attorney's advice on this matter to ensure you understand how best to ensure this.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I hate it when people answer a question with a question. But:

    What is the urgency? Why the need to change the deed? If you are not interested in adding your husband's name to the legal ownership reflected in the deed, why do you want to change the name in which you hold the property?

    You have no legal obligation to change a deed simply because you got married and, in line with tradition, accepted his last name. Should you desire to sell the property next week, next year or whenever, you would simply sign the deed over to the new owners as "Married Name" p/k/a "Maiden Name".

    If you want to incur the additional expense of reconveying the property from yourself (old name) to yourself (new name) I'm sure someone will be happy to charge you for the service and of course you will have the additional fee of recording the deed. But, interestingly, you will have to sign the deed over to yourself as indicated above. I wouldn't bother.

    By the way, you didn't ask, but although you remain the true sole legal owner of the property, you and your husband are now both equitable owners of the property. Doesn't matter whose name is written on the deed.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.

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