Transfer a House Left by a Deceased Relative

My father died and left me a couple of houses and I needed to know how to transfer everything into my name. What steps do I take?

2 Answers

If the properties have loans on them contact the lenders and let them know that their borrower has died. They will want documentation from you that you are now the owner of the property. They may ask for letters testamentary or other probate documentation, a copy of the will, a death certificate, etc. It is not an uncommon occurrence for a borrower to die so the lender will have procedures in place to affect the transfer of the loan into the name of the heirs. The heirs do not have to qualify or payoff the loans on the home. All that is necessary is that the heirs continue to make the payments on the properties. The lender will foreclose on the property if the heirs do not make the payments and comply with all of the provisions of the loan.

Contact your insurance agent and/or the insurance agent of the deceased and make sure that the properties are properly insured.

The attorney handling the probate of the estate can inform you of any steps you need to take, if any are necessary, to record your ownership in the deed records.

Having just gone through this personally let me say I'm sorry for your loss. Always tough to lose parents.

Transfering property is the same alive or dead. You'll need to file a transfer deed, special deed or quit claim deed (or similar document depending on your states requirements) moving the title of the property. The issue when someone is deceased is that they can't sign the form.  You'll need to have the representative of the deceased (who ever is in charge of the estate) sign over the title to the home using the standard forms.

If there is no personal representative for the estate assigned then you're going to have a tough time getting anything filed. An estate attorney is your best bet.  Unless you were on title jointly with your father then you just file the death certificate and the property is yours through joint ownership (unless titled as tenants in common, then whole other issue).

The best place to start is a consult with an estate attorney.  If it's an uncomplicated estate without any heirs contesting the estate you should expect to pay $2,500-$5,000.  That would settle the whole estate not just your property.