Palm Coast, FL asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida

Q: I purchased a house in FL, but I noticed that they did not put my wife's as co-owner and her name is not on the deed.

Will to this property go though probate court if I pass away?

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4 Lawyer Answers

Jennifer Isaksen

Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Bushnell, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Your homestead could pass to your surviving spouse through probate, but if there are children from another marriage, they would have an interest also. A simple quit claim deed might solve your problems, but you might want to schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney to discuss your particular details.

Mark Siegel

Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Most definitely yes. You should have the seller sign a corrected deed. Contact the closing agent to have them prepare and record the paperwork and get copies reviewed in advance (which should have been done with the purchase). If you wish to avoid probate, you can contact an estate planning lawyer to prepare your will, a revocable living trust and other documents.

Mr. Long H. Duong

Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Gainesville, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: It will, at the very least, require a determination by a probate judge that it was your residential homestead in order to pass on to your spouse.

You could correct this relatively easily by executing a warranty deed to add your spouse. Contact a lawyer to have one prepared so it's done correctly the first time.

Lauren Nagel Richardson

PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Gainesville, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Yes, if you and your wife do not re-execute the deed and transfer the property from you (with her joining you as spouse as to homestead property) back to you and she as husband and wife, then upon your passing, the property would go through probate. Unless you have a will leaving the property to your wife, under the intestate laws of Florida, your wife would receive a life estate and any children that you may have would receive a remainder interest. If you do not have any children, then the property would pass outright 100% to your wife.

If you want the property to pass to the survivor of the two of you without probate, then you will need to hire a real estate attorney to prepare the deed from you back to you and your wife as husband and wife. This is a survivorship deed called tenancy by the entireties.

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