Hialeah, FL asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida

Q: Husband passed. I have checking account joint, but not our savings. What should I do?

Also several properties with the deed under both our names. I want to sell some one them. Is there a waiting period to be able to sell? Also, do I need to transfer all the deeds to my name? If so, how?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Akin Williams
Akin Williams

A: If any of the bank accounts and properties were located in England & Wales , United Kingdom OR your husband was EITHER domiciled in England and Wales,United Kingdom OR his will stated that it be governed by the Law of England & Wales,the law of England & Wales would be relevant and apply.

In such cases, you would first have to consider the provisions of your husband's will if he left one as any prospective Buyer would require written confirmation from the executor or administrator of the will as approved by the UK Probate Registry. The UK Probate application process takes a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks from the submission of all your documents including the Probate application and tax forms. Subject to any contrary intention in his will, the English law principle called the "right of survivorship" applies to jointly owned property. This principle allows you to deal with the jointly owned properties as if they automatically vested in you when your husband passed. You would not need to conduct a separate transfer of the properties to your sole name. It is however always best to contact a solicitor in England and Wales to assist in such circumstances.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Very sorry for your loss and please accept my condolences.

You will want and need to speak with a Florida Probate Attorney. Any assets that are in your husband's name alone may have to go through probate if there is no Pay on Death or Transfer on Death designation on that account. You will also want a probate attorney to look at the various deeds of the various properties in order to see how they were precisely held and determine how they can and will be transferred, if all the properties are as you described (titled in both your names) it may be possible to transfer them outside of probate by simply producing and recording a death certificate, a review of the deeds would be a helpful starting point. If your husband had a Will, this should be submitted to the clerk of the court in the county where he lived, if there was no Will, then the Florida Intestate Statutes (without a Will) would apply to his probate.

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