Q: My Mother and Father passed away with no will. How do we get the deed to the house in our name?
Do we have to do two separate probate cases to switch from joint to just Dad, then one to us? Or can it be done in one case.
A: You have to do two estates, unless the property was titled jointly with survivorship rights or if there is a Transfer on Death Affidavit recorded with the county. If it requires two estates, depending on the county where the decedents lived and how long ago they died you may be able to do a Real Estate Transfer Only for one or both. Or at least you may be able to do a Relief from Administration for one or both, which is based on the value of the home and is simpler than a Full Administration. It is best to work with a probate attorney who is knowledgeable on what needs to be done and how to do it.
A: You will have to check the deed to the property. If the house was titled in joint names with rights of survivorship, you will have one probate. If it was in joint names as tenants in common (no survivorship) you will have to probate the estate of the first spouse to die, and then probate the second estate. If the house was titled in joint names with survivorship, you will need to file an affidavit with a copy of the death certificate of the first parent to die with the county recorder and then probate the estate of the second parent to pass.
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