Rancho Cucamonga, CA asked in Probate for California

Q: my dad died previously, now my mom has died, do i need to file 2 probates to put their house in my name,or file joint

my dad died a couple of years ago, my mom recently passed away and we are going to file probate for the ownership of the house. Do i need to file probate separately for each person if the house is the only thing in probate or can it be filed jointly. Both mom and dad were on the title of the property.

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4 Lawyer Answers
Marivel Zialcita
Marivel Zialcita
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Claremont, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You will need to create an affidavit of death for your dad and then open a probate for your mother's estate.

1 user found this answer helpful

Richard Samuel Price
Richard Samuel Price
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Redlands, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It depends on how they held title to the property. If your mom and dad held title on the deed with the right of survivorship such as a joint tenancy or as community property with the right of survivorship, then you would only need one probate. However, if they were tenants in common, then you would need two probates. Review the deed to the house. Call or email an attorney for a full consultation.

Bill Sweeney and Patricia Ann Simmons agree with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Bruce Adrian Last
Bruce Adrian Last
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Pleasant Hill, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I generally agree with the other two answers. How to proceed will depend on how title was held.

If the deed relates that your mother and father owned the house as joint tenants or as "community property with right of survivorship" (the express right of survivorship language must be in the deed designating community property ownership), a simple affidavit of death will transfer the property from Mom and Dad's names into Mom's name. Then you only need one probate for Mom's estate. (But, see below.)

If the deed relates any other form of ownership, you still may only need one probate for Mom's estate. This is because a spousal property petition could be used to remove Dad's name from the deed, if the property was community property. (Property acquired during marriage and/or property held in the spouses joint names is presumed to be community property.)

Now, if for some reason the house is partly or wholly separate property of either spouse, it would get a bit complicated and two probates may be required.

You probably noticed that I keep saying "may be required." This is because that if the value of the property was less than $150,000 you can use a small estate petition procedure, which is cheaper than a full probate. As to your Dad's estate, keep in mind here that the value is only his share of the property. So if the property had a value as of your Dad's date of death of $300,000, and He and Mom were co-owners, than the value of your Father's share is only $150,000.

You probably guessed by now, there is often times more than one way to remove the flesh from a feline in probate matters, and picking the proper procedure(s) to make the most efficient use of you time and money is a bit of an art. I recommend that you discuss this with an experienced probate attorney. If you don't know where to start you search, I would call your local county bar association. Most run attorney referral services which provide free or low cost consultations.

Best of luck.

Bill Sweeney agrees with this answer

Bill Sweeney
Bill Sweeney
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • San Juan Capistrano, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The answer to your question depends on a number of factors. You need to consult with an attorney to discuss your particular situation. The attorney's advice will be based on a review of all information and relevant documents.

Patricia Ann Simmons agrees with this answer

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