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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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If my husband passed away (04/03/2012), how do I get him off

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If my husband passed away (04/03/2012), how do I get him off of the deed for the house?
Thank you for your question. My condolences on your recent loss.

Typically, spouses are going to be listed on a deed a tenants by the entirity or joint tenants. In either case, the full ownership of the property passes to the surviving spouse automatically upon the death of the other.

Nothing needs to be done, the process is automatic. It is actually not necessary to remove your husband's name from the deed. That change can be made just as easily when the property is sold at some later time, or when you later pass away and the property is transferred to someone else. There is no legal impact to making that change now, or at some later time.

If you really want the name removed, however, there is a document called an
Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant" that you can fill out and take to the recorder's office (along with a certified copy of his death certificate) in the county where your home is located.

If you go to this page and scroll down about a quarter of the way, you'll see a sample affidavit. The recorder's office should have one as well, but you could probably cut and paste that one into a word document and just edit as necessary -it's a pretty generic form.
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