Question: I recently got married and I want to add my wife to the title to my Sedona home. I have filled out a quit claim deed (which I purchased at a local stationery store) naming my wife and myself as owners by community property with right of survivorship. If I record this quit claim deed, do I need new title insurance, or does my old title insurance continue to afford coverage?
Answer: My general rule is that any transfer of an interest in real property should have the protection of title insurance coverage. Although you already have title insurance coverage on your Sedona home, this title insurance coverage does not extend to your new wife. For example, if your wife has judgment liens from credit-card companies, these judgment liens will attach to your Sedona home when your wife’s name is added to the title. Unlike other types of insurance, such as fire insurance and life insurance, which insure against future events, title insurance insures against past events, namely, events that occurred before the issuance of the title insurance policy. For example, discovery of a forged deed 20 years ago would be covered by the title insurance policy of the current owner. Therefore, I would suggest that you purchase a title-insurance policy insuring both you and your wife when the quit claim deed to you and your wife is recorded. If you use the title insurance company that issued you the original title-insurance policy on your Sedona home, the cost may be minimal.