Adding Another Person’s Name to a Property Deed in California: Step-by-Step Guide

Adding another person’s name to a property deed in California is a common practice, often done for reasons such as marriage, gifting, or estate planning. This process, known as transferring title, can be complex and requires careful attention to detail. It’s important to understand the steps involved to ensure a smooth and legal transfer of property ownership. This article provides a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this process.

Understanding the Implications

Before you add another person’s name to your property deed, it’s crucial to understand the implications. Once the name is added, the person will have legal rights to the property. This could affect your ability to sell or refinance the property in the future. It’s recommended to consult with a real estate attorney or a tax advisor to understand the potential legal and tax implications.

Obtain a Copy of Your Deed

The first step in adding a name to a property deed is to obtain a copy of your current deed. You can get this from the county recorder’s office where the property is located. Some counties in California allow you to access this information online.

Prepare a New Deed

Next, you’ll need to prepare a new deed that includes the name of the person you want to add. In California, this is typically done using a “Quitclaim Deed” or a “Grant Deed”. Both types of deeds transfer ownership from one person to another, but they offer different levels of protection for the new owner. A real estate attorney can help you decide which type of deed is best for your situation.

Sign and Notarize the Deed

Once the new deed is prepared, it must be signed by the current property owner in the presence of a notary public. The notary public will verify the identity of the signer and ensure that the signer understands the implications of transferring property ownership.

Record the Deed

The final step is to record the new deed with the county recorder’s office. There is usually a small fee associated with recording a deed. Once the deed is recorded, the property ownership is officially transferred to include the new person’s name.


Adding another person’s name to a property deed in California involves several steps and legal considerations. It’s important to understand the process and seek professional advice to ensure a smooth and legal transfer of property ownership. Remember, once a name is added to a property deed, it can have significant legal and financial implications.