Property Deed Transfers

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Property deed transfers

The most common document which allows a property deed transfer between living owners to take place is called a Deed. The most common type of Deed is a General Warranty Deed.

TITLE is the legal right of ownership to property. DEEDS are used to transfer property title between living owners only.

If the property owner is deceased, you will need either an Affidavit of Heirship, a probated Will, or other court order determining heirship before the property can be transferred with a deed.

Typically, most real estate transfers require:

  • A written document specifying the transfer. This is the Deed.
  • The legal description of the property such as an address.
  • The name of the party transferring the property (owner/grantor) and the name of the party receiving the property (recipient/grantee).
  • The document must be properly signed and acknowledged by a notary.
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Once you have your real estate deed prepared, signed, and notarized, it should be filed at the county clerk’s office in a timely manner. This office may also be known as the register of deeds office. Filing or recording a deed is done only in the county where the property is located. Most counties charge a recording fee of between approximately $15 and $40.

Note: If the document is not properly prepared, signed and notarized, it may be considered void.

Once a deed has been filed with the County Clerk’s office, the tax office will update the county tax records to show the name and address of the new owner of the property. Depending on the county, it could take several weeks for the tax records to be updated to show the new owner.

There are many tax exemptions available in Texas, including:

General Residence Homestead • Age 65 or Older Exemption • Age 55 or Older Surviving Spouse of individual who qualified for Age 65 or Older Exemption • Disabled Person Exemption • 100% Disabled Veteran or Surviving Spouse of Disabled Veteran who received the 100% Disabled Veteran’s Exemption • Donated Residence Homestead of Partially Disabled Veteran or Surviving Spouse of Disabled Veteran who qualified for Donated Residence Homestead • Surviving Spouse of Member of Armed Forces Killed in Action • Surviving Spouse of First Responder Killed in Line of Duty • Partially Disabled Veteran or Survivor (not limited to your homestead).

Tax exemptions can save you money.

To claim your exemptions, contact your local Central Appraisal District.

Good to know: If the new owner lives in the property, the new owner should apply for the Homestead tax exemption to lower his or her property taxes. There is no need to pay for this service. Just call the tax office and they will mail or email you the application form for the tax exemption.

There are numerous types of property deeds available. Each deed may be useful for a specific situation. If you are in doubt about which deed you should use, be sure to give us a call. Speak directly with attorney Scott Steinbach at 972-960-1850.

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Property Title Transfer

Property title transfers require that the exact legal description of the property be used on the deed. Additionally, the use of precise language further helps to prevent unintended mistakes. Once a deed has been recorded, it may be difficult and often costly to correct errors.


The term deed conveyance is used to specify that the owner of the property voluntarily signs a deed to convey/transfer the property to another person or entity. Simply put, convey means transfer.

Only the actual owner of the property or the person authorized in writing to sign for the owner can sign a deed to convey title to property. The person who prepares deeds may sometimes be referred to as a “conveyancer.’

Other methods of conveyance of property include a probated will or any court order which transfers title to property. This may include a divorce decree.

Note:  A judge may convey title to property by signing a court order awarding or conveying title to the property to a person or entity. However, this is not a deed conveyance.

Good to know: The property specifically described in a deed is the conveyed property.

Some common deeds and other documents used to transfer a house are:

Warranty Deeds

These deeds are the basic staple of property transfers. A seller warrants or guarantees clear title of a property to a buyer.

Transfer on Death Deeds

Names beneficiaries to own real estate at the time of the owner’s death. No probate is needed to transfer title.

Life estate deeds

Transfers ownership of real property into two separate interests. Each interest has separate rights of possession.

Executor’s Deeds

Used by an Executor to sell or transfer real estate property of a deceased owner according to the terms of a Will.

deed in lieu

Transfers title of real property from the Buyer back to the Seller or Lender in lieu of going through a foreclosure process.

Right of survivorship

With this agreement, if a property owner dies, their interest in the property transfers to the surviving owner of the property.

Lady bird deeds

A special type of Life Estate Deed also known as an “Enhanced Life Estate Deed”. Grantor retains the option to make changes to the deed.

Seller Financing

Sellers may wish to provide financing to their buyers. There are three legal documents needed for this transaction.

LLC for real estate

If you own Texas rental property, we recommend that the property be leased by and owned by a Limited Liability Company.

Trust for Real Estate

A Trust may be established to hold assets or real property.  You can transfer your house or other real estate into a Trust.

Deceased owner

When a property owner dies without Will or other estate plan in place to transfer real property, two documents may be required.

Quit (Quick) Claim Deeds

Used to give up any claims or interest in a property. In Texas, a Quit Claim does not transfer title to real estate property.

Real estate deed

While there are many reasons to use a real estate deed to transfer property, generally you will do so to change or remove a name from the property title.


If you sell your property, you will need a deed to transfer the property to the buyer. The most commonly used deed is a Warranty Deed. There are two types of Warranty Deeds – General Warranty Deed and Special Warranty Deed. Do not use a Quitclaim Deed in Texas.


To add another person to the title to your property, you should use a General Warranty Deed. Keep in mind, that when you add a person to the title, you now have two separate owners. If your co-owner dies, you will not inherit the property unless you both sign a Survivorship Agreement or unless you are the dead owner’s only heir.


When you add a person to your title, and you want the property to pass to that person if you die, you should both sign a Survivorship Agreement.  You can do this at the same time as you sign the Deed to add the name to the property. Keep in mind – simply adding your child or your spouse to your title is NOT enough. You need a Survivorship Agreement if you want your spouse or child to receive the property when you die.


If you want to take a name OFF of your title you will need to have that person sign a Warranty Deed to remove his or her name. A General Warranty Deed is recommended, but a Special Warranty Deed is acceptable if necessary.


When a property is owned by spouses, and they are contemplating a divorce or have been granted a divorce, a Special Warranty Deed is suggested. Keep in mind – no deed will remove a spouse’s name from the mortgage. Only the mortgage company can remove a name from the mortgage. Unfortunately, however, most mortgage companies rarely will remove a name from a mortgage. The mortgage will need to be paid off or refinanced.


If a divorce court signs a divorce decree awarding one spouse the property, and the other spouse cannot be located or will not sign a deed, the spouse that received the property in the divorce decree may be able to file a certified copy of the entire divorce decree in the property records to show the property was transferred. When filing a divorce decree in the property records, be sure to redact or black out any confidential information that does not pertain to the property.


If you own property with your spouse, and your spouse dies, you cannot use a deed to take your spouse’s name off the deed. This is because a deed transfers property between living people only. The deceased spouse cannot sign a deed. Instead, you will need either an Affidavit of Heirship, a probated Last Will and Testament or a court order identifying the heirs of your spouse. Keep in mind – you will not automatically be the owner of the property once your spouse dies.


If two or more people inherit property from a parent or other relative, and one or more do not want the property, they will need to sign a Deed to remove their names from the title. In this case, a Special Warranty Deed is recommended.


A Real Estate Deed should provide the current address for the new owner of the property. This is required so that the tax office knows where to send new tax bills. It is very important that a current mailing address is included in the document. This address should not be the property address, unless the new owner will receive mail at the property address.

Good to know: The seller’s address does not need to be in the deed, but the seller’s name should match the seller’s name as shown in the seller’s deed.

Note: If the seller has married or divorced, or otherwise changed his or her name, the new deed should show both names. “Old name” now known as “new name.”

Good to know: A deed can be signed by the transferring party in front of any notary anywhere. The deed does not need to be signed in Texas. If there are more than one owner, the deed does not need to be signed by the owners at the same time or place. One can sign in one state and the other can sign in another state. The requirement is that the owner sign in front of a notary. This is used to prevent fraud. Texas does not require witnesses, but it must be notarized.

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Good to know: In some cases, Texas deed transfers have requirements that are different from other states. Be sure the transfer you want to make meets all the Texas-specific conditions. If you are not certain, give us a call. Speak with attorney Scott Steinbach at 972-960-1850

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Do you have questions about Property Deed Transfers? Call and speak directly with attorney Scott Steinbach at 972-960-1850. Or email him at

R. Scott Steinbach is licensed in the state of Texas.  Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Residential Real Estate Law. AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubble. Peer rated for the Highest Level of Professional Excellence.

Texas Property Deeds is a service of The Steinbach Law Firm.

The Steinbach Law Firm is a Texas Real Estate Law Firm. We prepare all documents for any real estate transaction in Texas.