I need to unilaterally change a house's ownership from "joint tenants" to "tenants in common" without the involvement of the other owners. I don't trust the other owners anymore! (In New Jersey, if it matters.)
From my research, I believe I should write a deed to transfer my share to myself. But I'm reading some contradictory info:
Question #1: Some sites say I can definitely do this "unilaterally and without the knowledge or consent of the co-tenant(s)" (link), but others say "all current owners should sign the deed" (link -- click on question mark next to "Choose one"). Which is it?
Question #2: Some say "use a quitclaim deed to...change the way owners hold title to the property" (link), but others either say don't use quit claim deeds (link, link) or say "we generally recommend the Warranty Deed when transferring property to yourself, your trust, or your own company; because we want to make sure that the Title Policy and all of its benefits transfer to the Grantee of your deed" (link).
Question #3: If I should never use the "Nolo" link 2 to do this change, then is there any do-it-yourself form/method that I can use? (I cannot afford a lawyer for this task.)
UPDATE: Note to respondents that attempt to claim this isn't legal in the USA: It's definitely legal in New York at least. See NY Code - Section 240-C: Joint tenancy severance: "1. In addition to any other means by which a joint tenancy with right of survivorship may be severed, a joint tenant may unilaterally sever a joint tenancy in real property without consent of any non-severing joint tenant or tenants by: ... (b) Execution of a written instrument that evidences the intent to sever the joint tenancy, including a deed that names the severing tenant as the direct grantee of the severing tenant's interest."
Thus, if you claim this isn't allowed in the USA, then you are incorrect. If you claim this isn't allowed in New Jersey specifically, then please provide some evidence if you have it (e.g. court cases deciding against this type of action), instead of making an unsupported claim. Thanks.