If I want to sell my house after husband's death, do I need to take his name of the deed? 24 Answers as of July 24, 2013

My husband passed away 4 years ago. We owned two houses, in both our names. One small vacation cabin, owe no money on it. The other is my residence, which I want to sell. Does his name need to be taken off the deeds in order for me to sell either one? Only creditor he had was the small mortgage on the residence which I am still paying. Thank you.

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Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
No you do not. If you purchased the home as husband and wife, it automatically becomes yours and you can sell it without taking his name off the deed. You may need to submit to the property appraiser a death certificate to take his name off the tax rolls.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/24/2013
Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
Yes. You should file an affidavit regarding his death with the recorder of deeds' office.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 7/24/2013
James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
No, you do not need to do anything. If you held the property as tenants by the entirety, you only need to show his death certificate when you want to sell.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/24/2013
Yefim Rubinov, Attorney At Law
Yefim Rubinov, Attorney At Law | Yefim Rubinov
No. So long as you his death certificate and permission from the court to sell, then you are fine .
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/24/2013
The Law Office of David L. Leon
The Law Office of David L. Leon | David L. Leon
Yes, you need to take his name off of the deed. If he had a will, you will need to probate it. Otherwise, there are some other alternative measures you can take.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/24/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    No, his name does not need to be removed. You would bring a certified copy of the death certificate with you to the closing and that would be sufficient to remove him from the title.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    You won't have to do anything if you owned the properties as joint tenants. On the other hand, if you owned the property as tenants in common, you will need to probate your husband's estate.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    You do need to show that you have title to the property you are trying to sell. If you and he owned the property as "joint tenants with right of survivorship", it is as simple as recording an Affidavit of Survivorship and a Death Certificate. If you were tenants in common, you will need to probate your ex-husband's one-half interest in the property.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    The Curran Law Firm
    The Curran Law Firm | Maura Curran
    Since your husband passed away and presuming both properties are owned as joint tenant with right of survivorship, or better as tenants by the entireties, then you are the sole owner and can sell either property. However, buyer will likely require proof of death - no probate required, just recording of certified death certificate in the county where the property is located. You should not worry about that now however, let the buyer obtain title insurance and the title company will inform you of everything it needs to clear title.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    If this is Delaware - you need to file Affidavit of Jointly Owned Property and Affidavit that No DE Estate Tax Return is Required. Once that is done it is not necessary to change the deed.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    No, the name can be removed during the sale's escrow. However, some people prefer to do it before to avoid any delay or complications to the escrow.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Estrada Law P.C. | Michele Ungvarsky
    Yes, it will make the process much more streamline if you have the property in your own name. It is usually a fairly easy process, check with your county clerk for the documents they will require. Usually a death certificate and a Quick claim deed or a Warranty deed.
    Answer Applies to: New Mexico
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    In order to be able to change titles to real property you need to do through probate. The lender will also want to know about the death as there may be an acceleration clause in the loan that applies if one of the borrowers dies.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Probably. However you do not address how title is held.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    You should contact a probate lawyer to prepare an Affidavit Terminating the Joint Tenancy as to each property, if the properties were held joint tenancy title; in addition a certified death certificate and a preliminary change of ownership will need to be prepared, with all documents to be sent to county recorder with recording fees; you will need to do this for each property; the lawyer will charge time and chargers pursuant to a fee contract. If not held in joint tenancy, then lawyer may have to do a affidavit of small estate to be filed with the probate court to obtain the order putting the properties in the sole title of you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Hinds Law Firm
    Hinds Law Firm | Collin M. Hinds
    Did you own the property in "joint tenancy"? To answer your question, yes, the property needs to be titled in your name alone before you can sell it. If you owned the property in joint tenancy, then all you would need to do is file an affidavit of surviving joint tenant in the county where the property is located.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Yes. Record his death certificate in the county records of the county where the real property is located.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Yes, you will need to remove his name from title. To do this, you will need to file an Affidavit - Death of Owner with the County Recorder.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. | James E. Reed
    Essentially, his name is already off the property title. A conveyance signed by you "as suvivor of [deceased husband's name] whose death certificate is recorded in Liber.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    Generally his name can be taken off the deed at the time of closing.. all you will 100% need is an original of his death certificate to clear title. In Michigan unless it is clearly otherwise in the chain of title .. spouses are assumed to own a property as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" assuming that is the case.. your warranty deed to a new owner will be from "You as survivor of Husband (now deceased whose death certificate is attached for recording) and you" obviously if you sell the house to clear title you will have to pay off the mortgage.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Yes his name will have to be removed from the deed and the only way to know exactly what process to use to do that would be to have an attorney review the deeds and tell you what has to be done from there. A buyer cannot purchase the property with your husband's name still on it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
    Yes, title must be cleared before you sell the property. If the property was in trust, an affidavit is filed to identify who the successor trustee is. If title was in joint tenancy, then an affidavit of death of a joint tenant can clear title in the successor. If title was in husband and wife as community property, then a probate petition must be filed and you need to obtain a court order to fix title. If title was in husband and wife as community property, with the right of survivorship, then an affidavit must be recorded to fix title. If title was in husband and wife, then a probate must be filed to clear title.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    While his name is still on the deed, you just need to produce the death certificate at the signing.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/24/2013
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    Since your husband's name is on the title to the properties, his succession would have to be opened before his name is taken off of the title.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/24/2013
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