If I recently lost my husband and want to sell our house, would it have to go through probate first in order for me to sell it?

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If I recently lost my husband and want to sell our house, would it have to go through probate first in order for me to sell it?

Asked on July 29, 2011 Oklahoma

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If the house was held as tenants in the entirety or as tenants in common with rights of survivorship (each states differ but the rights of survivorship part is the key) then the house passed to you automatically at the time of his death and therefore is not part of his probate estate.  Only assets that he held alone (i.e., not as a joint asset) are probated.  Therefore, you could indeed sell the house and transfer it to another party.  You just have to see how the other side wants to handle the matter.  Some title companies ( used at closing to insure title) are very difficult and require extensive documentation.  All you should really need to provide is a copy of the deed showing rights of survivorship and his death certificate.  Then you should be fine.  Good luck.


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