When a person owning any real estate properties dies, the properties can either go into probate or are automatically passed to co-owners. As such, the new owners need to remove the deceased from the property deed to their real estate. Doing so clears the property tax records and lets the new owners take control of everything to do with the land or property.
Nonetheless, removing a deceased from the title deed is not as simple as it sounds, especially if the deceased was the sole property owner. The property will go to probate before it gets new owners.
On the other hand, suppose the property was co-owned with a surviving individual, who could be a spouse, child, sibling, friend, or any other co-owner. In that case, removing the deceased from the deed is a straightforward process, as follows;
Use a Survivorship Affidavit
A survivorship affidavit applies if you are already listed as the property co-owner. Similarly, you can use this route if you inherited the property via transfer-on-bed deed, life estate deed, or ladybird deed.
A survivorship affidavit is a legal document that shows that the landowner is no more and you are the rightful new owner. It helps clear the tax records by informing lenders, property tax officials, and title companies that the property has been transferred to a new owner.
However, affidavit of survivorship only applies if you and the deceased jointly owned the property with the right of survivorship, or the deceased listed you to inherit the property via beneficiary deed, life estate deed, or TOD.
Check the latest property deed to establish if you can use a survivorship affidavit. Also, confirm if you have the right of survivorship based on your relationship with the deceased.
You can change the deed to real estate with the right of survivorship under joint tenants, tenants by the entirety, or community property with right of survivorship.
Does Your State Accept Tenancy By Entirety?
Not every state recognizes tenancy by the entirety, so you should confirm with your state before applying for an affidavit of survivorship. Some states that recognize it include; Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.
Does Your State Recognize Community Property?
Some states that recognize community property include; Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, and Washington.
Using Deed to Remove a Deceased From Property
Your county clerk will advise you to use a quitclaim deed to remove the deceased from property ownership. However, the issue with using a deed is that the owner is not present to sign to transfer the title to you. You, therefore, need a legalized person to sign the deed, and for that power to be granted, you need to open a probate proceeding. Ensure to take your time to learn more about probate proceedings and alternatives.
Download a free quitclaim form on our website that suits your needs regardless of your property location to help you quickly transfer property ownership..