Property Deeds and Name Changes
For those who are interested in changing their name on a property deed, in many cases, they will be advised to not do so until such time as they plan to sell their home. The reason behind this is that many municipalities charge a transfer fee of up to one-hundred and fifty dollars to make this type of change. Changing the name on the deed and mortgage does not necessarily need to be done until such time as the mortgage is fully paid off or if the home is being sold. Since there are specific legal documents which are required by the seller at the closing, this is when most people discover that they forgot about asking their lender or attorney about a name change.
Documents that may be required
While each lending institution and recording office for deeds may require slightly different certifications, there are specific documents that will be required by all financial institutions to prove that a perosn who has changed their name is using a new name legally. Generally these documents will include:
Certified marrige certificate - when a name change is related to marriage, a certified copy of the marriage certificate is generally required. The lender (and recorder of deeds) will likely require that the marriage certificate show the old name and the new name;
Certified court documents - if a name change is due to legal changes resulting from a divorce or other legal proceeding, the requirements will include a certified court document. It is important to check with the proper legal authorities to find out if this document has specific date requirements (that is must it be certified within a certain number of days);
Photo identification - regardless of whether all of the legal requirements are met, the home seller must produce a photo identification. It is helpful if this document already contains the "new" legal name.
All of these documents will be required to show that the deed is being properly transferred to the new owner.