How to transfer ownership of a deceased person’s property?

UPDATED: Oct 19, 2012

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How to transfer ownership of a deceased person’s property?

My family inherited land around 10 years ago from my grandmother. The register of deeds still only has my deceased grandmother on file, though they informed me that we could use the Will itself in lieu of a deed. The issue is that, in the Will, my grandmother left 2 plots of land to my uncle and 1 to my father. My uncle has already agreed to transfer ownership of the property to my father but we’re not sure the best way to go about it. My parents are very poor and want to sell the property as soon as possible. What would the best and, basically, cheapest, way be to transfer ownership? Do we need a lawyer to change the will or have a deed created with the consent of both parties, of course?

Asked on October 19, 2012 under Estate Planning, North Carolina


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

How you transfer property that is left to someone in a will depends on the state in which you live.  In Florida, you would have to open an estate, which is a relatively expensive proposition.  Other states allow you to transfer property without opening an estate.

It sounds like your state allows transfer without opening an estate.  I suggest you call some title agents in your area to see if they can help you.  Title agents prepare deeds every day.  One may be willing to prepare the deeds you require for a very small fee.  Look under "title insurance" or "title companies" to find one.  Since your parents want to sell the property, the title will have to be in proper form.  A title company may be very willing to prepare these deeds if they get to handle the closing of the sale.

If you can't find a title company, look for a "document preparation" service.  These are often paralegals who can prepare documents for you at much less cost than a lawyer.

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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