Should You Remove a Deceased Owner from a Real Estate Title?

Image of a woman mourning near flowers. Captioned: Should you remove a deceased owner from a real estate title.

When someone who owns real property dies, the property goes into probate or it automatically passes, by operation of law, to surviving co-owners. Often, surviving co-owners do nothing with the title for as long as they own the property. Yet the best practice is to remove the deceased owner’s name from the title.

Here, we review some common scenarios, and reasons to update a home’s title after an owner’s death.

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Removing Someone from a Real Estate Deed

Image of two people at a desk with real estate deed discussing removing one of them from the deed.

Removing someone from a deed—is it possible? The short answer: No.

Misconceptions and Realities

It is a misconception that someone can be “removed” from the deed.

Nor can a co-owner simply take away another party’s interest in a property by executing a new deed without that other party.

In short, no one can be passively removed from a title.

Even if an owner “added” someone else to the real estate deed previously, the first owner cannot reconsider and take the second person off the deed.

Why?

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