Are there actions a surviving spouse should take on a home that has both names on the deed?

Asked on July 22, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The first thing that the surviving spouse should do with respect to real property held in the survivor's and the deceased names is to read the deed. If the deed is a joint tenancy deed, the surviving spouse inherits the property as a matter of law without any probate or trust administration where an affidavit of successor trustee needs to be signed by the survivor before a notary public recorded in the county recorder's office with a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse attached.

If no joint tenancy deed is applicable, then title to the real property needs to be placed in the name of the designated heirs. For that, you should consult with a Wills and trust attorney and bring any applicable Will or trust to the meeting to assist the attorney.

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