How to Do a Name Change on an Existing Deed in California

How to Do a Name Change on an Existing Deed in California
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Several occurrences can prompt the need to change the name on an existing title deed. You might get married and want to add your new spouse's name to the deed. You might divorce and want to remove your ex from the title. One family member might wish to add a son, daughter, niece or nephew to the existing deed. The simplest way to change the name on a deed is to execute what is known as a quitclaim deed.

Photograph your property. You can also have a professional photographer do the job. Photos need to be attached to the quitclaim deed.

Get out your property's legal description. It should be a part of your title deed. If your copy has gone missing, the county recorder's office can make you a copy in exchange for an administrative fee.

Get a hardcopy of the quitclaim form. You can print state-specific forms from a number of websites.

Sign the form. The grantor -- the current owner -- is empowered to add or change names on the deed.

Visit a notary public to have him sign and stamp the quitclaim form.

Arrange for the quitclaim deed to be recorded at the office of the county recorder.

Deliver the newly executed deed to the grantee, the person whose name has been added.


  • In California, changing or adding names to a deed means losing legal control over the property. It may also cause your property taxes to go up. Consult an attorney before making any such changes.