Silver Spring, MD asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia

Q: What happens in the District of Columbia in a "joint tenancy" when an individual passes?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in District of Columbia

A: The survivor of the two joint tenants becomes sole owner of the property as a matter of law. The survivor can, but need not, file a new deed to show the property is solely theirs. They will need the death certificate and a new deed drafted. Alternatively, they may only need to record the death certificate, but if an estate has been opened in the Superior Court already then that should not be necessary. The property itself is not part of the estate of the deceased joint tenant. The reason to file a corrected deed showing only the remaining joint tenant as sole owner is to avoid issues later when the property is sold or refinanced.

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