Q: If a spouse dies, can the husband or wife sell the home and collect all the proceeds if both names are on the deed?
A: I'm restating your question:
1) Husband and wife own real estate.
2) the deed to husband and wife conveyed the property and included EITHER of the following two phrases: "Husband and Wife as Tenants by the Entirety", OR "H & W as Joint Tenants with right of survivorship"
The answer to your question with either of the above two is "Yes". Absolutely.
3) If the deed did not have either of the phrases in 2), then they each owned 1/2 and, depending on other factors not in your question, the answer becomes 'maybe'.
A: This sometimes gets complicated if the titling was either confusing or a bit ancient, but, basically, if the home was purchased during the marriage, unless expressly titled otherwise, it is entireties property, and, in Virginia, it passes upon death outside of probate. The titling "John Q. Public, et ux." is the same as the more common term these days of "John Q. and Mary Z. Public, by entireties" or, more verbosely, "John Q. Public and Mary Z. Public, Husband and Wife, by entireties." There are many other ways of saying the same thing, and a short consult with a lawyer can make things much easier.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.