What is process for having a name put on a property deed if the person who’s name is currently on the deed has passed away?

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What is process for having a name put on a property deed if the person who’s name is currently on the deed has passed away?

My mom had a previous marriage in which her husband only had his name on the grant deed of the property they were residing. He passed away (mid 1960’s) and my mom’s name was never put on the deed. We have been living at the property since and my mom has been paying the taxes for it every year. From my understanding, she was in the process of having her name put on the deed (mid 1980’s) but the lawyer never finished and he retired. What is the process to get my mom’s name on the deed?

Asked on August 25, 2011 California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is a really good idea that you and your Mother take care of this now.  Unfortunately, more information is needed here and I think that you will again need an attorney to help you with this transaction.  First, was his estate ever probated?  If only his name was on the deed then it would have to go through probate in order to be transferred to the new owner.  Did he leave a Will leaving the property to your Mother?  If not, was she the only beneficiary or were there others?  If there were others then your Mother does not own the property outright but she is entitled to a set off for paying the taxes and the maintenance on the property unless the other beneficiaries consider it "rent."  There are too many questions here.  Please seek help.  Good luck.


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