How do I add my name to the deed?

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How do I add my name to the deed?

We live in Phoenix AZ, and my wife just passed away last week of liver cancer. She did not add my name to the deed of our home. We are legally married for the past 7 years, but were together 25 years. What is my first step to claim ownership, as I will be paying off the mortgage.

Asked on June 14, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You have to properly inherit the house, which presumably you will, either by her will (if she had one, it presumably left the home to you) or by the rules for intestsate succession (who, such as a spouse, inherits when there is no will). The house will have to go through probate and be transferred to you as the person inheriting (assuming, as we do, that you will inherit). In the interim, while the property works through probate, you will need authority as the personal representative of your wife's estate to manage the property (e.g. pay bills for it, pay off the mortgage, etc.). You get that authority from the country probate court. So your first step is to contact that court, explain the situation (that you wife died, and whether she had a will or not), and ask them for instructions and forms as to how to proceed.


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