If my husband and I own a home with both names on the deed but he is now deceased, do I have to have the deed name changed before I can sell?

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If my husband and I own a home with both names on the deed but he is now deceased, do I have to have the deed name changed before I can sell?

If so, how do I get it changed?

Asked on September 24, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

G.J., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The first question that has to be addressed in this situation is the type of ownership interest you and your husband shared in the property. If you owned the property jointly as a "joint tenancy", then the ownership of the property automatically transfers to you. In this case you will have to have your spouse's name removed from the title and have a new certificate of title issued in your name. You can sell the property without removing your deceased spouse from the deed. However, buyers and banks prefer a deed with only the surviving property owner on it. Depending on this, you may need to remove your deceased spouse from the deed.
If you had a tenancy in common, ownership does not automatically transfer to you and you cannot sell without the consent of whomever the property interest has been bestowed upon.
 


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