If my father recently passed away but my parent’s home is solely in his name, how do I now get it into my mother’s name?

He and my mother had purchased a home 3 years ago. At the time of the purchase when it came time to sign documents, my father realized my mother’s name had been left off. To not prolong the escrow, it was recommended to him that he add my mother’s name to the title at a later time. My Father lost his battle with cancer and never added my mother’s name to the title. I was appointed Power of Attorney over his finances a few days before he passed away. The document states it is valid only during his lifetime. Does this mean I am no longer able to make decisions over his finances? How do I help my mom make sure their property remains in her name?

Asked on September 8, 2014 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Yes, you are no longer able to make any decisions over your Father's finances but generally speaking a POA can not change a deed anyway.  Your powers passed with your Father.  Does the deed state that it is a community property asset or just his name alone with out anything else?  If it is the latter then you have to go through probate and have the deed transferred to your Mom.  You all may have to waive your right to inherit the asset or ask that the court deem it a community asset with rights of survivorship and transfer it to your Mom.  Good luck.


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