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Iowa Affidavit of Surviving Joint Tenant

Transferring Title to Iowa Real Estate after a Joint Tenant Dies

Joint tenancy is a form of ownership where two or more people share title rights to a specific parcel of real property. If one joint tenant dies, his/her portion of property rights transfers to the remaining owners by function of law. If there are multiple surviving co-owners, they each receive an equal share of the rights. Property held in joint tenancy does not pass to the owners' estates in a will. Therefore, it avoids distribution via the probate process.

Iowa Code 558.66 (2013) governs the different requirements for completing the transfer of title rights under joint tenancy. Specifically, the living joint tenant may execute and record an affidavit of surviving joint tenant, which the recorder attaches to the previously recorded deed. An affidavit is a document containing statements, made under oath, which identify the person presenting the material (affiant); the name of the surviving co-owner (often the affiant); details about the deceased owner; the legal description of the property being transferred; recording information from the deed granting joint tenancy; and a request to update the records with the county auditor ( 558.66(3)(b)). In addition, many people include an official copy of the deceased owner's death certificate.

Completing this process is an essential step in preserving a clear chain of title to the property, meaning that there is an unbroken history of owners, which reduces the likelihood of unexpected claims of rights to the real estate. A clear chain of title also makes the property easier to sell or mortgage because title agencies will provide the insurance that is usually required as part of the sale. In addition, because grantors (owners) must sign deeds when property is sold or otherwise conveyed, the recorded affidavit serves as evidence proving why one of the named owners cannot sign the transfer.

Real estate held in joint tenancy is often one aspect of an overall estate plan. Good practice dictates frequent updates of items such as wills, trusts, and other associated documents. As such, executing an affidavit of surviving joint tenant soon after a co-owner dies protects the rights and interests of everyone involved by ensuring that the relevant land records contain the most current information.

Each situation is unique, so for complex issues or with additional questions, please contact a local real estate attorney or other estate planning professional.

Deeds.com Iowa Affidavit of Surviving Joint Tenant Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Tuesday September 17, 2019

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What others like you are saying:


Maria S. said: The paperwork/forms are fine, but there isn't enough explanation for me to figure out how to file the extra forms (which I do need in my case). The main form, Deed Upon Death is fine. I think the price is pretty high for these forms. I wouldn't have purchased it because there are places to get them for much cheaper (about 6 dollars), but this site had the extra forms I wanted (property in a trust and another form). Unfortunately these were included as a "courtesy" and there are no instructions for them. So three stars for being clear about what was in the package, having the right forms that I need, but instructions for putting them to use and price took a couple of stars off. Downloading was easy and once you download you can type the info into the PDF--that makes working with the forms much easier.

Reply from Staff: Thank you for the feedback Maria. Regarding the supplement documents, it is best to get assistance from the agency that requires them. These are not legal documents, they should provide full support and guidance for them.


Daniel L. said: Very good. The right forms and instructions . Thanks

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Karen M. said: This was a very easy and organized system to use.

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Reply from Staff: Thank you so much Sandra, we really appreciate your feedback.


Altaray S. said: Really fast turn around time, and was provided exactly what I was looking for this time. This is my first experience with this site. It would have been cool to also get a document depicting/describing a property line, but like I said before, exactly what I was looking for this time.

Reply from Staff: Thank you so much for your feedback Altaray, we really appreciate it.


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Reply from Staff: We appreciate your business and value your feedback. Thank you. Have a wonderful day!


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Iowa Affidavit of Surviving Joint Tenant Form