What is a Deed of Surrender?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2019
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The deed of surrender is a document that makes it possible to transfer the ownership of property for a specified period of time and under specific conditions. Essentially, the legal instrument makes it possible to transfer a property by transferring or surrendering all claims on the property to the individual holding the underlying title. This makes it possible to settle any outstanding claims that may be attached to a given piece of property.

It is possible to use a deed of surrender in situations where several people have a life interest in a given property. For example, when several adult children are settling the estate of deceased parents, it may be used to simplify the process of selling property that is part of the estate. This is particularly true if more than one child has some degree of claim on the property that is under consideration.

The document can also be used to clear up any lingering issues with the establishment of a clear title to a property. This is especially true when there appear to be some discrepancies in the deeds issued on the property in the past. Depending on the exact nature of the discrepancies, it may be necessary to obtain a deed of surrender from previous owners before a clear title is established and a deed issued to the current owner.


It is important to note that the deed of surrender is normally used in situations where the relationship between the persons involved is somewhat amicable. Issuing the document requires nothing more than the drafting of the text by a qualified attorney or realtor, obtaining the necessary signatures, and having it notarized and filed with the appropriate local municipal agency.

There is one other application that is relatively common. When the owner of record will be unavailable for a specified period of time, there may be some advantages associated with temporarily transferring a property ownership to another person or entity. When this is the case, the document can include a specific time period in which the title is transferred to another person. Once the end date for the surrender passes, the title automatically reverts to the original owner.

In general, a deed of surrender ensures that the title to the property is free and clear of any outstanding claims. Whether used as a temporary measure or a permanent solution, it eliminates the potential for ownership issues to arise at a later date.


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Post 2

My husband and I have been separated for two years now. He owns property under his name without a living trust, and I own property in my name under a living trust. He wants me to sign a quick deed on his property so he can refinance his home. What should I do in this case?

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