how to remove ex spouse from estate deed

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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