Transferring Property After Death With A Will
The process of transferring property after death can become complicated. You may have to go through many processes and formalities, most of which should be done promptly. One major process is to transfer real estate after someone has passed away. You may be wondering if you can keep the home in the deceased person’s name, and the answer, quite simply, is no.
Once the property owner has passed away, the title to the home must be transferred. This will require a new title to be issued and filed.
This article will help you get answers to the following questions:
- What happens to a house once the property owner passes away?
- What is probate court?
- Does a Will avoid the need for probate court?
- How can you transfer property after death with a Will?
- How can you transfer property after death without a Will?
- What does an intestate estate mean?
- How do you protect your own property after death?
- Can a house stay in the name of a deceased person once they pass away?
What Happens To A House Or Property After The Owner Dies?
When a homeowner passes away, the property must go through probate. However, when it comes to real estate, the property can switch owners or be sold to pay off debts and further distributed to family members.
What Is Probate Court?
Probate, sometimes referred to as estate administration, is the court process of administering the estate of someone who has passed away. It generally consists of paying debts, closing accounts, and transferring real and personal property to family members. The people who are to receive the assets and property from your estate are known as beneficiaries or heirs.
Does A Will Avoid Probate Court?
If your family member recently passed away and had a Will, you may wonder if it avoids probate court. In short, no, the Will does not avoid Probate Court. A Will is essentially a letter to the probate court stating how you would like your property to be distributed once you pass away and states who should execute your Will. Your Will is filed with the Probate Court upon passing in the county where you lived at the time of your death. Once this is complete, the probate process begins. If you don’t have a Will, your money and property will be distributed according to Michigan Intestate Law, which may be undesirable for some.
How Do You Transfer Property After Death With A Will?
So, how do you transfer property after death with a Will? If the property owner passed away with a Will, then their Will likely says who the home should pass to upon their passing. Once the Will is validated in Probate Court and the estate is opened, the Executor can transfer the real estate to the heirs.
In some instances, the decedent’s property may need to be sold before the transfer of ownership can occur, even if there was a Will. The Executor must make this decision and take into consideration the size of any debts. If there’s still debt after all assets are sold, then the property may have to be sold before anyone can inherit it.
What Does It Mean If You Die Intestate?
When someone dies intestate, it means they passed away without a Will. When this happens, your real and personal property will be distributed according to Michigan’s Intestacy Laws. The court determines who will receive your belongings according to the law instead of how you wished for them to be distributed. For example, if you pass away without a Will and have no immediate family, your belongings may be distributed to a long-lost family member you’ve never met. If you want to avoid a situation like this, it’s a good idea to prepare a robust estate plan, like a Will or Living Trust, to ensure that your wishes are followed the way you want. In your Will, you appoint an Executor, also known as a Personal Representative, to distribute your property, so it’s best to choose someone you trust.
How Do You Transfer Property After Death Without A Will?
If a homeowner passes away without a Will, the property will be distributed according to Michigan’s Intestacy Laws. However, each state has its own laws, so it’s important to consult an attorney in your state for assistance on how to transfer property after death.
The Executor, and in some cases, the court, will determine if they need to sell the property to cover any estate debts and fees associated with the probate proceedings. If the Executor doesn’t need to sell the home, it will be distributed to the heirs according to state law. In most states, the order of priority goes from the spouse to children, to parents, to siblings, etc.
If A Person Dies, Can A House Stay In A Deceased Person’s Name?
No, a property cannot stay in the name of a deceased person. If you would like to transfer property after death, it must be transferred to the deceased’s relatives according to their Will or by the state’s intestacy laws. Once the proper new owners have been found, and probate has been opened, the new owner must file a new Deed on the title with the county Register of Deeds Office. When you file the Deed, you will likely need to record the decedent’s Certificate of Death at the same time.
Filing a new Deed is necessary to ensure you are the legal owner of the property and to ensure you can continue paying property taxes. You will also be able to take over utilities. Once the transfer is complete and the remainder of the property is closed, the estate is ready to be closed out. There may be some fees along the way, but this typically varies for each state.
If Property Is Owned Jointly, What Happens If One Of The Owners Dies?
When it comes to jointly-owned property, the surviving owner receives full property ownership in most cases. However, in some states, the property may avoid the need for Probate Court and can be transferred to the survivor.
Jointly owned properties are common for married couples. Once one spouse passes away, the property can be transferred to the surviving spouse. Even though the property may avoid probate, it is still a good idea to include the home in your estate plan because, even after death, the property may still have to go through Probate Court.
How Do You Transfer Property After Death Without A Will And No Heirs?
So, how do you transfer property after death if the deceased didn’t leave a Will and had no heirs? If a homeowner passes away with no heirs, the state’s intestacy laws will determine who the next heir will be. In addition, the laws will help determine the next living family member. According to the state’s intestacy laws, if there’s no will and no relatives, then the state will take possession of the property.
How Do You Protect Your Property After Death?
You can protect your property after death by creating a robust estate plan. This is especially important if you own a home, regardless of the ownership type or marital status. If you have a Will, it will help ensure your wishes are followed, and your property is distributed to who you intended to.
Some people choose to create an estate plan until later in life, as this is what most people do. However, starting your estate plan after you purchase real estate is a good idea if you would like to protect your property for your family if you were to pass away.
People are usually unaware of the probate process, especially for large items like real estate. If you’ve ever wondered if a house can stay in the name of a deceased person, you’re not the only one. Transferring real and personal property after death can be confusing and usually involves court supervision. Creating an estate plan will give you and your family peace now and in the future.
Do I Need A Probate Lawyer To Transfer Property After Death With A Will?
As we mentioned earlier, a Will must go through probate court.
Due to this, it’s generally recommended that you hire an experienced probate attorney to assist you with the process, especially if you are wanting to transfer property after death.
Having an attorney is useful because the probate process can become long, stressful, and confusing.
An attorney will assist you during the probate process to ensure your loved one’s property can be distributed to their family in a timely manner.
At Rochester Law Center, our compassionate and dedicated Michigan Probate Lawyers are experienced in all matters of probate administration and serve every county in the state of Michigan.
We make probate fast, easy, and stress free by acting as your guide through the complicated paperwork and legal proceedings you’ll undoubtedly be facing throughout the Michigan probate process.
We understand the intricacies and nuances involved with probating an estate and can help you navigate every step of the way while keeping costs as low as possible.
Call us today at (248) 613-0007 for a free case evaluation.