When in Delaware… A Homeowner’s Deed Must Be Filed With the Register of Wills

What happens with Delaware real estate deeds when someone dies?

The home’s title (whether the owner dies with or without a will) vests immediately in the beneficiaries’ names. The home county’s Register of Wills sends the deed to the County Assessment Office. That’s how a title is transferred upon death. There’s no need for a new deed.

This makes Delaware different from other states. And there are a few more things to know about how a deceased person’s home goes to the beneficiaries in Delaware.

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Best Way to Inherit a Home in Probate: Executor’s Deed, Administrator’s Deed, or Quitclaim?

If you inherit a home, what deed will you get? It all depends on the estate planning done by the late homeowner.

If you’re willed the home, it’s likely an executor’s deed. If the late homeowner died without a will, you’ll likely get an administrator’s deed. If you’re receiving your interest from another heir, it might even be a quitclaim deed.

Here are some special considerations for each kind of deed.

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Selling a Probate Property in 6 Steps: Practical Tips for Beneficiaries

Image of the inside of a house, the room and décor is very dated. Captioned: Selling a probate Property

Selling a probate property is a study in patience. It’s important to let probate run its proper course.

The goal of this court-supervised process is to pay the estate’s debts, and to make sure the deceased person’s chosen beneficiaries receive the value they’ve been promised through the will. The conveyance of a home receives special scrutiny, as it’s typically one of the largest assets a person leaves behind.

Under the court’s watch, the executor or administrator must first be officially approved. This executor must take an inventory of the estate and correctly identify — and notify — potential creditors and beneficiaries. Anyone who rejects their potential claim to the estate must sign a disclaimer of interest.

There’s a good reason for every step in the process, and for taking each step according to the probate court’s rules. Following all the legal requirements supports the integrity of the home title. So, if you are an executor or a beneficiary who expects to sell real property from an estate, here are the steps to take, and tips to help you prepare.

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What Happens When Wills and Deeds Conflict?

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When a person passes away, the death certificate and last will are submitted to the county probate court. A person representative begins the process of passing assets along as the will directs — except when other valid legal instruments have priority. One of those instruments is the all-important real estate deed.

Houses can be left to their owners’ chosen beneficiaries through wills. But when someone who co-owns a house passes away, questions may arise as to what the last will says versus what the deed says. In case of a conflict, does the last will get the last word? Short answer: probably not. The long answer starts with the way the title is vested.

Survivorship Rights Vs. Tenancies in Common

When an owner dies, a properly signed and recorded deed directs and channels the person’s property interest to its next owner, typically according to the following rules.

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If You Inherit a House, Act. A Cautionary Tale About Putting Off Probate

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A Cautionary Tale About Putting Off Probate

Five years ago in Texas, John died, willing his house to a nephew, A.W.

Today, A.W. wants to get ready to sell the house, and pay off some debt.

Here’s the rub. The will never went through probate, and a different relative of John’s has been living in the home all this time.

Who gets the house?

A.W. was named as the next owner in the will, and never refused the deed. So, legally, A.W. owns it, right? Wrong. Procrastination is the thief of assets, as A.W. learned the hard way. A will does not enact itself. It has to be probated according to a timeline. 

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When a Spouse, Partner, or Relative Dies: What’s Next for the Home?

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Real Estate and Death

Homes are complicated assets. When a homeowner dies, this becomes obvious. When loved ones are experiencing grief and loss, the real estate details can border on overwhelming.

If someone in your life died holding an interest in real estate, here is some general guidance. You might have some actions to take, depending on the situation.

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Your Real Estate and Probate

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When a person dies, the property owned by the deceased person—alone, or in the names of the deceased and another person without survivorship rights—finds its way to the county probate court.

If the deceased person co-owned property, and the living co-owner holds a right of survivorship, probate is not an issue for the real estate. The asset passes to the surviving owner upon presentation of a certified copy of the former owner’s death certificate. In other words, the surviving co-owner absorbs the share of the person who has died.

Yet many people die as the sole owners of real estate, which then becomes probate property.

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Probate Creditors’ Rights Under Texas Law

Probate Creditors' Rights Under Texas Law

Paying off the decedent’s debts is one of the primary duties of an estate’s executor or administrator. Failing to do this can lead to personal liability on the executor or administrator’s part. The estate’s creditors have rights under Texas probate law, but all are time-sensitive. If estate assets are limited, whether the creditor receives reimbursement depends on the nature of the debt.

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Probate and Sale of Real Property in West Virginia

Probate is the legal process of settling a decedent’s estate and distributing property to those entitled to receive it. This involves authenticating a testator’s will upon his or her death and transferring property to the named beneficiaries, or, if the decedent dies without leaving a will, determining the decedent’s legal heirs. Probate ensures that, by complying with state law, clear and marketable title passes to devisees or heirs at law.

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