Augusta, GA asked in Probate for Georgia

Q: Considering Ga survivorship rules can I get a deed transferred to my name without going through probate court?

Husband recently passed, our home was solely in his name & my name was never added to the property deed. Mortgage company has advised that I can assume mortgage/home once I submit a transfer deed in my name. Since husband is deceased this simple process is now confusing. I would like to get home in my name, but do not want to probate the estate-his only debt is a few medical bills & the mortgage, we are joint owners on any other property we have, & I was beneficiary on all policies/pension/401. We have 3 adult children that's not seeking anything.

I picked up a transfer deed form from the probate court but have not moved forward with it because well my husband is decease he cannot sign it. As the surviving spouse do I simply fill out deed, have it notarized, & submit to probate for filing. Or will I have to get an attorney to probate the estate in order to get my name on the deed? The lender did advise that mortgage could remain in his name as long as I keep payment current,

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3 Lawyer Answers
Zainab Major Brown
Zainab Major Brown
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Atlanta, GA

A: The transfer can still be simple. However, it must be done through the probate court. You should speak to an attorney for help with this.

1 user found this answer helpful

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: You cannot transfer the deed into your name without involvement of the probate court. I would suggest you file a petition for year's support and ask the court to give you the house. This will save you the property taxes that you ordinarily would have to pay later this year. This is not the same as opening an estate. Once you get your house awarded to you for year's support, the house is yours.

I would not transfer the mortgage into your name as you gain nothing from doing so. You can continue to pay the mortgage as you always have and eventually, the mortgage will be paid. There is no reason to obligate yourself legally on the mortgage. The mortgage company cannot cause you any trouble by you refusing to accept the legal obligation to pay the mortgage.

1 user found this answer helpful

John W. Chambers Jr
John W. Chambers Jr
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: My condolences to you on the passing of your husband. In your individual capacity, you cannot execute a deed to transfer the property to yourself. You do not mention whether your husband had a will. If he had a will, the property would pass pursuant to the provisions of the will. If he did not have a will, the "heirs" would inherit the property. In Georgia, the heirs would be you, as the surviving spouse, and his children (and descendants of any child who predeceased him). Georgia has a procedure known as "year's support," in which the surviving spouse can petition the court to have property set aside for her benefit. This procedure might be of use in your situation to accomplish would you want. As I mention, however, you cannot simply file a deed to transfer the property to yourself. I strongly urge you to retain the services of a Georgia probate attorney to assist you in this matter.

1 user found this answer helpful

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