If my wife recently passed away without a Will, do I have to go through the expense of probate in order to have my name put on a new deed?

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If my wife recently passed away without a Will, do I have to go through the expense of probate in order to have my name put on a new deed?

I understand that real property goes to the surviving spouse. There are no children from a previous marriage.

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The question I have is how the deed is held now.  Is it only her name on the deed?  If the answer is yes then you would have to be appointed as the personal representative of her estate to transfer the property.  If the house was purchased after you were narried or if you were added to the deed as the spouse then most likely you have to do nothing, as the property passed to you "by operation of law" - automatically - upon her death.  Good luck.


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