Occidental, CA asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California

Q: In California after death of spouse and court has approved spousal property order for real estate do I now need a deed?

If so what type and what is procedure? Thanks

2 Lawyer Answers
Rod B. Tuazon
Rod B. Tuazon
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Ventura, CA

A: Based on your question, I would have to assume that the property was owned solely by spouse and there was no living trust or transfer on death deed. And I also would have to assume that you had to go to the court to petition for probate and the court decided that the property passes solely to you. In other words, you had already gone through the probate process and you own the property 100%.

If so, it is not necessary to record a deed to change title after it is probated. Generally, the court orders legal changes and assigns ownership. If not, go to the assessor’s office and show them the court order, but they may or may not be able to assist you. They may also require you to complete a preliminary change of ownership. If there is a mortgage on the property, you may also want to contact the bank for any requirements they need.

If you are having issues getting the title under your name, contact a Real Estate lawyer.

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Oakland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: There is no need to record a Deed. Instead, I recommend obtaining a certified copy of the spousal property Order and then recording the certified copy of the Order at the county recorder's office.

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