How Do I Remove Deceased Husband From Deed?

Full Question:

What form do I need when there is two people on the deed but one of them is deceased?
06/24/2009   |   Category: Wills and Es... ยป Probate   |   State: Arkansas   |   #17164


The answer will depend on the names and ownership indicated in the current deed. Property owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship passes automatically to the survivor outside the probate process. In such cases, procedures for transferring the deed to the survivor vary by local recording office. Typically. a copy of the death certificate is required and a feee must be paid. I suggest calling the recorder's office in the county where the property is located to inquire about local requirements.

If the property is worth more than $100,000, it won't qualify for a small estate administration and a probate petition must be filed. If the property owned was left in a will the property interest could be transferred by a fiduciary deed signed by the executor or administrator of the estate in the probate process.

When a person dies, their assets are distributed in the probate process. If a person dies with a will, an executor is named to handle the distribution of the estate after a petition to probate the estate is filed with the court in the county where the deceased resided. In cases where the decedent didn't own property valued at more than $100,000, the personal property may go through a small estate administration process, rather than the formal probate process. To dispose of the real property interests of the decedent, the executor or administrator executes an executor's deed or fiduciary deed. For example, if a person who is a co-owner dies. the administrator of the estate can execute a fiduciary deed transferring their interest to the remaining owners. Joint tenancy property passes outside of probate; however, it may be severed so that the property becomes part of one person's estate and passes to that person's heirs. Each joint tenant has an equal, undivided interest in the whole property, and automatically will inherit the share of a deceased joint tenant by right of survivorship, without the requirement of going through probate.

On the other hand, if the deed provides for ownership as tenants in common, each owner will own a portion of the property, which may be unequal, but each will have the right to possess the entire property. There is no "right of survivorship" if one of the tenants in common dies, and each interest may be separately sold, mortgaged or willed to another. Upon the death of a tenant in common there must be a court supervised administration of the estate of the deceased to transfer the interest in the tenancy in common.

In the case of a life tenant who holds a life estate, when the life tenant dies, their interest may pass to the remaindermen. Title may also return to the person giving or deeding the property or to his/her surviving children or descendants upon the death of the life tenant--this is called "reversion."