Does my dad need to be removed off a deed to property we jointly own if he dies?

I own a house and 3.8 acres of property with my father who passed away 7 months ago. I was told by my sister’s lawyer for the estate that because we both owned 50/50 of the property that a new deed would be drawn up and some paper would be sent to the state. The type of deed we have is a fee simple deed and we hold no mortgage on it because we paid $59,000 cash for it. I was told by the record of deeds there is no reason for a new deed to be made. My father bought the property as a gift for my wife and I.

Asked on November 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your father passed away while you and he were "joint owners", meaning you owned the proeprty as joint tenants with the right of survivorship, then since you survived him, you own the entire property by operation of law. To be sure of this, you need to consult with a real estate attorney and bring him or her the deed for review.

If you are joint tenants with your deceased father, you need to get a certified copy of the death certificate of him and then sign an affidavit of surviving joint tenant before a notary public with the certified copy of the death certificate attached and record it on the property. By doing this you are able to transfer the entire property to yourself.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.