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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102505
Experience:  Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.
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I am a Michigan homeowner (mortgage paid up). My wife of 30

Customer Question

I am a Michigan homeowner (mortgage paid up). My wife of 30 years (and mother of my adult children) died in 2009. I have since re-married, but my late wife's name is ***** ***** the title of the home. Should I have the title re-issued with my current spouse's name? My current spouse is also the executor of my estate, as per my will. But, she is concerned that the children of the first marriage may have/want some rights to the home if I predecease her.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:
(A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. This is repeated in numerous disclaimers throughout the site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am very sorry for your loss.
Can you please tell me:
1) Did you and your first wife purchase the home together?
2) Do you know if you were JOINT TENANTS or TENANTS IN COMMON on the deed to the property in question? Or, not sure?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry about the delay - I was on an extended trip abroad.
1) Yes, we purchased it together. The warranty deed lists my name first and hers second, followed by "husband and wife".
2) Neither "Joint Tenants" nor "Tenants in Common" were specified on this deed.
It is clear to me that I must make out a new warranty deed, simulating a transfer, but am not sure who is the "grantor". Must it be the same as the names on the existing deed, or something like "William Customer and Elen Cutrim (deceased 05/15/2009)", or my name alone? Her death certificate is on file with the County Register of Deeds.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
Then you were joint tenants/tenants by entirety, likely.
Property owned as husband and wife (tenants by the entirety) provides rights of survivorship similar to joint tenancy (which is that upon the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse becomes the owner of the property whole, automatically. Joint tenancy ownership is frequently used to avoid probate.
All that is necessary to be done in most cases is to take her name off at the county register of deed level, by bringing a death certificate, and her name will be taken off.
As for putting your current wife's name on the deed, this may be done via a QUITCLAIM at the same office. See here. Filed at the same office.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please rate when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.