Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight
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I am sorry for your situation. This may or may not be necessary
, and you can find out by simply asking them to take a look at their deed, but, first I have to explain the doctrine behind it.
There are generally two types of tenancies (ways to hold a title together by two or more people):
In a TENANCY IN COMMON
, if A and B hold a title together and A dies, then B does not acquire the interest of A. Instead, A's interest in the property is bequeathed to heirs. Probate is necessary
to take the deceased party off the title.
In a JOINT TENANCY, if A and B hold title together and A dies, then B automatically acquires A's interest. So, A's interest is NOT bequeathed to heirs, but, goes to B automatically. Probate may not be necessary.
For the creation of a joint tenancy, four unities are required, namely, unity of interest, unity of title, unity of time, and unity of possession. What this means is that if when they purchased the home in 1964, if they purchased it together
, they are likely joint tenants (and if so, no need for probate).
If one purchased it separately and then placed the other's name on the deed, then they are tenants in common and if so, probate may be necessary.
So what you can do is ask them (or have an attorney look into the county records) to see how they hold the deed - tenants in common or joint tenancy.
If they hold it as tenants in common, and they want to switch it to joint tenancy to avoid probate, then they can register a NEW deed for this. However, an attorney is necessary because this involves drafting the new deed, possibly surveying, proper filing, etc. May I recommend the TN Bar referral program by county - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP. An attorney is needed in the state where the property is located.
Likely, the whole matter should not run more than $1,000 to $1,500 at the most, although it is best to speak with several attorneys before making a decision.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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