The death of a loved one is seldom an easy time, and transferring property may not be the first thing on your to-do list. However, at some point it will be necessary to transfer the title from the deceased person to yourself or someone else. Until the property is legally transferred, banks will not make loans against the property. If you have the proper paperwork (the will and the death certificate is all that is necessary in most cases), then the transfer of title is not terribly difficult, although certain fees will be involved.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Will of the deceased
- Death certificate
- Copy of loan documents if a mortgage is held on the property
Contact the lawyer handing the estate and present him with a copy of the will, a copy of the death certificate and a copy of any loan documents; ask the attorney to handle the paperwork necessary to transfer the title of the property into your name. Check ahead of time on the fees involved, as they can be substantial.
Contact a title company if you do not wish to involve lawyers, and provide the title company with the paperwork it needs to transfer the title for you. In most vases, it will require a copy of the will, the death certificate and a copy of any mortgage loan papers. The title company will charge a fee for this service, so shop around.
Go in person to the county courthouse and speak with someone in the property department. This department may go by different names in different states but simply describing what you wish to do to the person at the information desk should get you pointed in the right direction. Have copies of the will, the death certificate, any loan papers and your ID. There will be a small fee to transfer the title.
Tips and warnings
- In some states, 30 or 60 days must elapse before title will be transferred.
- Banks will not require most home loans to be paid off if a borrower dies, provided the new owner continues to make payments and abides by the terms of the original loan agreement.
- Have multiple copies of the death certificate available.
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