Antioch, CA asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California

Q: After filing an affidavit of death of joint tennant,DOES A WIFE NEED TO FILE A NEW DEED AS GRANTOR AND GRANTEE?

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1 Lawyer Answer
D. Steven Yahnian
D. Steven Yahnian
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Visalia, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No. The recording of the affidavit of death of Joint tenant is the same as a deed from the deceased spouse to the surviving spouse. No further deed is necessary unless the spouse creates a living trust and then transfers title to the property to that new living trust.

The same rule applies to a situation where the spouses originally took title as Community Property with Right of Survivorship. That type of deed also avoids probate or other estate administration on the first death, but provides the advantage over joint tenancy of the entire real property obtaining step up in income tax basis at the first death between the spouses.

Nina Whitehurst agrees with this answer

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