What you need to do to remove someone’s name from a property title
A property title is a land titling document that lists the names of the registered owners of a property. It’s an important legal document that you’re likely to come across when you’re buying or selling a house.
Sometimes in life, it will become necessary to have someone’s name removed from a property title. For example, your marriage may be ending in divorce and you need to remove your spouse’s name from the document, or perhaps the original property owner has passed away.
Whatever the case may be, read on to find out the process you need to follow to get a name removed from a property title. Reading this from the US? Read our guide to removing names from a property deed on finder.com Guide to changing property ownership
How to remove someone’s name from a property title
The exact process you will need to follow to have someone’s name removed from a property title will vary between states and territories. You can perform these tasks yourself, but most people seek the services of a conveyancer or lawyer. You’ll generally have to complete the following steps:
- Fill out a transfer of title form. You can find this form online at the relevant state government department’s website. You’ll need to provide proof of identification for each party involved in the transfer.
- Submit the form. Submit the signed transfer form and any other evidence that may be required to your state’s land department.
- Pay the fee. Although circumstances can vary depending on where you live and your reasons for changing the title, you’ll typically have to pay a fee to have your form processed.
- Lodge the form. Once the fee has been paid, you can lodge your form and wait for it to be processed.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to follow extra steps to ensure the process runs smoothly. For example, if you have a mortgage on the property, you’ll need your lender’s consent to have someone’s name removed from the property title. This may also involve getting new mortgage documents drawn up. It may also be necessary to have a formal separation agreement prepared by your solicitors if you're getting divorced. If you’re gifting a property to your children, which would involve having your name removed from the title and your child’s name added, you’ll have to pay capital gains tax (CGT) for doing so. This tax is based on the property's market value, not the price you charge your children.
How is tax treated when removing a name from a property title?
It’s possible to take care of this process entirely on your own, but land title laws and the tax treatment of property transfers can be confusing, so it’s often in your best interest to enlist the services of a conveyancer or solicitor. This is the best way to ensure that all the necessary paperwork is done correctly and you don’t end up with any nasty surprises – such as fines – down the line.
Typically, transferring ownership of a home from one person to another requires you to pay stamp duty. However, in cases where you are having someone removed from a property title due to divorce, the best thing to do is draw up a formal separation agreement with the help of your lawyers. This legal document details the obligations of both parties and how you‘ll split your assets, which may help you avoid stamp duty and save you thousands of dollars. If you need a name removed from your property title for reasons other than a marriage breakdown, you’ll be slugged with a stamp duty charge.
Capital gains tax (CGT)
As a personal asset, your home is exempt from CGT. However, if you sell an investment property or gift it to someone else, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) defines this as a CGT event and you will need to pay CGT. If you’re unsure about a tax matter relating to property, get professional advice before selling or gifting it. Although it can be a confusing issue to deal with, removing someone’s name from a property title is simple to take care of once you know the correct policies and procedures to follow. Whether you’re gifting a property to someone else or you’re splitting up assets after a marriage breakdown, seeking help from a conveyancer or solicitor is often the best way to go. This will ensure that the entire process is managed efficiently and effectively.
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How does a title transfer differ from a name change?
A title transfer normally involves adding or removal a name from the title deed which can be completed by filling out a transfer of title form. However, a name change (which may become necessary as a result of marriage, divorce or death), involves submitting the appropriate record of name change with your state government department.Back to top