How To Transfer a Property Deed from A Deceased Relative?

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“It’s difficult to sort out a family member’s estate when they die. Your surviving family members will be very interested in what happens to the real estate in your estate, mainly if it contains real estate, such as a home. A deed explains how real property (such as a house) after death and How to Transfer a Property Deed from A Deceased Relative.”

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How To Transfer a Property Deed from A Deceased Relative?

About Deed and A Property Deed.

Deeds are legal documents used to establish ownership of assets or property. They transfer ownership of assets or properties from one party to another. Property deeds involve the transfer of land or property. They are physical, legal documents proving ownership of the property.


Transferring Property When Someone Dies

The transferring of a sold property can be lengthy, depending on the title’s title. Probate may be necessary unless:

  • The grantor created a living trust to transfer the property to the beneficiary instead of using a will.
  • A deceased filed a transfer on the death deed, naming a specific person as the beneficiary.
  • Joint tenants owned the property as tenants by entirety and as community property with the right of survivorship.

If the deceased was the property owner of a trust, the most recent deed indicates that the trust’s trustee was able to transfer the property to them.

And if a person signs a transfer-on-death deed before death, the deed will show the property’s new owner. There is a requirement for some documents, such as filing the death certificate and an affidavit in Land records offices in the county.

Surviving co-owners who inherit property face different rules in each county and state. The surviving co-owner should declare that they are now the sole owner. They must file death certificates, and they would file them with their county’s land record office.


When a person Transfers a property deed from a deceased relative, what happens to the property?

At a time when a homeowner dies, several factors determine what happens to the property. If the owner co-owned the house, the way they co-owned it (discussed below) is necessary. It is essential to determine whether the owner has made any estate planning decisions, for example, an estate plan, a living trust, or a transfer-on-death document.

Based on these factors, we can determine whether the property is subject to probate or if its transfer is easier and faster.


How Long Can a Deceased Person’s House Remain in Their Name?

Property ownership cannot remain in a deceased individual’s name after death. Instead, they must pass it on according to their Will or the State’s Succession Law. To get a new deed, the new owner must file a copy of the death certificate and a statement from the probate court with the county recorder’s office.

Transferring the title lets the new owner pay property taxes and share utility connections properly. As a result, the Executor of the Will or Probate Court can close these accounts out on the deceased’s behalf. There may be some charge associated with this process, but it will vary according to the state.


How Does Probate Work When a Relative Dies?


Probate Work When a Relative Dies.


After your loved one dies, you might wonder if their real estate will go into probate. When a deceased person dies, a probate court oversees the distribution of their property.) The real estate must go through probate if it passes to a new owner or owner.

  • The real estate is passed to someone through a living trust.
  • Transfer-on-death deeds designate someone to receive property after death, or the deceased person completed and filed them.
  • Co-ownership of real estate can take several forms.

Firstly, find the deed showing the deceased person owned the property and determine if the dead person co-owned it. It should explain how the deceased person and any co-owners held title to the property. Whether it was a quitclaim, grant, joint tenancy, or warranty deed.

This will determine whether the property must go through probate first or is transferable directly to the new owners. There are several ways the deceased may have owned the property.


Sole Ownership: Probate Required

The deceased person must likely go through probate to transfer the property to whoever inherits it if it is only in their name (and there was no living trust or transfer-on-death deed). Deceased’s will determines the property inheritance or, if no will be present, by the state’s law.


Co-Owned as Joint Tenants: No Probate Required

As long as the co-owner is still alive, the surviving co-owner automatically becomes the sole owner of the property if the title is in “joint tenancy with right of survivorship.” Transferring ownership does not need probate, but the co-owner must complete some paperwork to demonstrate the property belongs to them exclusively.


Tenants by the Entirety: No Probate Needed

In certain states, a property owned by the deceased person and their spouse could have been held in entirety (also known as “tenancy by the entirety”). The survivor becomes the sole owner; there is no need for probate proceedings, just some paperwork. This is similar to joint tenancy.


Co-Owned as Community Property: Probate Required

A community property state allows spouses (as well as domestic partners in some states) to own property jointly; each spouse owns half of the property during their lifetimes.

Without a will, the surviving spouse inherits the property. Probation is usually required. A spouse can write a will that leaves that spouse’s half to whomever they choose. But there will be no will if there is no surviving spouse.


A Guide to Transfer a Property Deed from A Deceased Relative.

If a deceased person owned real estate, the property transfer could involve quite an extensive process. Probate might not be necessary except for when:

  • Instead of leaving a will, the property went to someone via a living trust.
  • Someone served as the recipient of the deceased’s transfer-on-death deed.
  • A joint tenant, tenants by the entirety, and community property with right of survivorship owned the property.

When the deceased owned the property through a trust, the most current deed may indicate that ownership passed to the trustee.

A surviving co-owner is usually required to file a statement detailing that they are now the sole owner of the property in the event of inheritance. Still, rules may vary from county to county or state. Filing a death certificate in the county’s land records office is also necessary.


How can You Use a Transfer on a Death Deed to Avoid Probate?

The most important benefit of the Transfer on Death Deed is that it permits real estate to avoid probate and go straight to Beneficiaries. And the process of establishing a TOD Deed is straightforward. The process can be different from state to state. There are standard, fundamental steps to adhere to.


Get Your State-Specific Deed Form.

Check out the state’s requirements for the property’s location. You need to use state-specific forms and language in many states for it to be legal.


Decide on Your Beneficiary.

You may choose a single individual, a group of individuals, an organization, or even a charity to be your Beneficiary. Be specific when listing Beneficiaries. If you select multiple beneficiaries, indicate how to name your property to their name. Using “Joint Tenants” means when one person dies, the survivor beneficiary will take over the property as the owner. Make sure you know the language that your state allows. Some states will not accept “Joint Tenants.”

Also, consider naming a different beneficiary if your chosen one can’t survive.


Include a Description of the Property.

Utilizing the deed in place, take a copy of the explanation of the house precisely as it is now. Check it against the original at least one time to ensure the accuracy.


Sign the New Deed.

If you’re the sole owner of the property, your signature will likely be enough. Determining whether you’re a resident of a community property state is essential. If so, then you’ll need the spouse’s signature.


Record the Deed.

It will only be valid if you submit a TOD Deed. To register the property, find the Land Records office in the county where it is located. The entity could have various names, to name just a few. If you need help with where to register a deed, contact your local courthouse and inquire about the best place to record deeds for real estate.


What is the difference between Deeds and Titles?

There are significant differences between a title and a deed in their existence. A deed states explicitly that the holder is legally the owner of the property or title and then that they intend to give it to a new owner. The deed records the owner’s title to a piece of real estate. It represents hypothetical rights that a homeowner holds to a piece of real estate.

Titles may confer different rights depending on the deed. Although clear titles transfer absolute ownership rights to the purchaser, they are still subject to challenge based on either of the following two factors:

  • This deed details the format for the title abstract.
  • Have you searched for a title?


What Are Common Options for Property Titles?

In the future, owners can transfer ownership rights in many ways, depending on how they hold titles today. Here are the most common options for Transfer a Property Deed from A Deceased Relative.:


Sole Ownership

There can be restrictions depending on the jurisdiction regarding sole ownership. Singles commonly use this holding method for people who are legally separated or those who are divorced.


Joint Tenancy

The Joint ownership refers to two individuals purchasing a property together, holding equal shares. Since joint tenants have equal rights in the property, all decisions must be unanimous.


Tenancy In Common

Each home co-owner has equal rights to use the home as long as they live, but they hold title to their share of the property separately and can decide to give it away or dispose of it.

Tenancies in common differ from joint tenancies because there is no survivorship option. Instead, the property becomes vested in the heirs of the deceased owner upon the demise of either owner.


Tenancy By the Entirety

This type of tenancy, especially for married couples, regards them as one legal entity with equally shared property rights. The right to survivorship governs this type of tenancy, so both spouses must approve any actions taken on the property. It is available in all states.


Community Property

The term ‘marriage property’ refers to property acquired during the marriage and owned in equal shares by both spouses, who can transfer their ownership share or will it in whatever way they wish.



Living trusts allow holders to keep ownership rights to real estate properties until death or incapacity. In this case, a trustee manages and controls the property on their behalf.

An irrevocable trust, the titleholder transfers their ownership rights into the trust, and there is no way to modify the terms of the trust. In a revocable living trust, the holder can alter agreement terms while still alive.


How can I transfer the property upon my death without an estate plan in Florida?

If the deed doesn’t mention life estates, the only way to transfer property without a will is through an administration. This can be a summary or an official probate administration under Florida intestacy law. The size and type of assets in the estate determine the difference. So does the time since the decedent(s) died. Summary administrations tend to be more efficient and is less expensive. See whether your estate is eligible for the benefit of a summative administration.



Transfer a Property Deed from A Deceased Relative is quite complicated. It usually requires probate legal proceedings. When it comes to moving property, Attorney Real Estate can help.

Hedy Ghavidel

HEDY GHAVIDEL Managing Attorney  Roseville Office  1-866-471-6981  Bio...

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