Can I prepare a deed myself?

Per § 17.1-223(A) a deed conveying residential property containing not more than four residential dwelling units must state on the first page of the document that it was prepared by the owner of the real property or by an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth where such statement by an attorney shall include the name and Virginia State Bar number of the attorney who prepared the deed. Note that timeshares are not considered residential dwellings. 

There are no deed forms available for creation on the Virginia Judicial System's website. The Code of Virginia under § 64.2-635 Optional form of transfer on death deed provides information on creating a transfer on death deed, which needs to meet all recordation requirements shown above in order to be recorded. Otherwise, we recommend seeing an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth who is familiar with recordation/land records to have a deed prepared since it is a legal document transferring property and inaccurate/incorrect documents may cause issues in the chain of title. 

If preparing the deed without an attorney, it is your responsibility to make sure that the deed meets all requirements under the Code of Virginia and the recordation requirements shown above.  Recordation of a deed or other document does not mean that it was prepared correctly or is legally sound, it only means that the document met the basic requirements for recordation. 

**Court personnel are prohibited by law from giving legal advice, restating the law, or recommending legal action. Questions regarding interpretation of the law should be directed to an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.**

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1. How do I add someone or remove someone from my deed?
2. Can I prepare a deed myself?