The process of removing a deceased joint tenant from an Arizona deed is fairly simple.
When two or more property owners hold title as joint tenants with right of survivorship, and one of those co-owners dies, the surviving owners share the decedent’s interest in the land by function of law, and without the need for distribution through probate.
Even though the transfer of ownership rights is, in theory, automatic, it makes sense to formalize the change in title. One way to accomplish this is by completing and recording an affidavit of surviving joint tenant, accompanied by an official copy of the deceased owner’s death certificate. His/her name will still appear on the deed, but the records will show that the property rights were transferred to the remaining owner.
To remove the decedent’s name altogether, execute a new deed showing both joint tenants as grantors and only the survivor as a grantee. For example: “John Doe (deceased) and Richard Roe, as joint tenants with right of survivorship, convey to Richard Roe as sole owner.” Present the new deed along with the affidavit of surviving joint tenant or submit it for recording on its own at a later date.
By following this procedure, the survivor helps to maintain a clear chain of title (ownership history), which will simplify future transactions relating to the property.