how to remove ex spouse from estate deed

UPDATED: Oct 29, 2019

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how to remove ex spouse from estate deed

spouse’s location is unknown with no known communication. the person’s name is on the house deed. can they be removed

Asked on October 29, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, they cannot be removed: even if you cannot locate them, that does not effect their ownership interest. Ownership of real estate is unaffected by other persons knowledge of where you are.
If they passed away unless it was owned jointly as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or JTROS, their heirs or beneficiaries would inherit their interest--and if it was JTROS, while you would ultimately receive their share, you'd need proof of death to do so. 
The best you can do is bring a legal action for "partition" to get a court order that the property be sold and the proceeds of the sale, after paying costs of sale and any mortgage, HELOC, etc., be divided between the owners. There is a way to file a legal action against someone you cannot find, but it is procedurally complex, as is an action for partiion in the first place; you are advised to retain an attorney to help you.

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.

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