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Death and Property Title

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Independent Real Estate Broker DRE#00972295

What do you do when your spouse or someone who is on title with you dies?  Do you keep them on title or do you remove them? What is the benefit to removing them now vs later?  So many questions, so little time! First, let me say that dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy.  It’s a very emotional time!  Making any financial decisions at this time, in my opinion, is not wise. This is a time when you should be concentrating on dealing with your emotions, don't be concern about these issues right now.  It’s not wise to make decisions  when your emotions make you susceptible to other’s taking advantage of you.  Just wait until enough time has passed and you can clearly see what all your options are. 


Q. Do I need to remove the name of my deceased husband from the house deed before I can sell it?

A. Everything can be done in Escrow, as long as you have all the documentation necessary. The first document you need is a Certified Death Certificate, not the one that you get from the funeral director.  You must receive it from the County Resistors office, it must be the original with the purple stamp. 


How long should I wait to remove my spouse from title? 

 Well, again, it depends on why you want to remove him/her?   If it’s for legal reasons, I suggest that you seek the advice of an attorney knowledgeable in real estate matters.  It also depends on what you want to do with the property and how title was held while they were alive, your several options. 


Removing or adding someone on title is not an easy decision, and it should not be taken lightly.  Anytime you record documents against your property it has consequences.   The consequence may not manifest today or even tomorrow, but years later; maybe when you need to refinance or sell that property.


Your actions always have consequences!


Please take care anytime you want to make a change to the title of your property.  I hope you have found what I say informative. Please remember that this is only for informational purposes and it is not in any way, shape or form intended to be legal advice.  I am not an attorney and I don’t even play one on TV…lol! What I am is a California Real Estate Broker who loves to learn everything there is about real estate.  I’m not saying I know everything, oh, lord no…there are so many things I still need to learn but I do know where to get information—and get the “right” information.  


You can google all you want, and you will get a gazillion pages telling you what you can or should do.  Sometimes all these web pages only serve to confuse you even more.  I must make this disclaimer because I don’t want anyone to misconstrued what I say here or anywhere. 


This is only my opinion based on my 30 years of being a Realtor, and 24 years of being a real estate Broker.  I am also a notary public since 1988!  If I misunderstand what I discover in my research and you feel I am wrong, please correct me.  I like to give correct information.  Feel free to leave a comment or call me at (562) 916-3237 or Text me at (562) 884-6196.  You may also email me at: PintoRealty@outlook.com.

 For all your real estate needs call Aida (562) 884-6196

If you are interested in selling your property in California, and live out-of-state or out-of-the area, I specialize in helping property owners just like you.  Whether it is a Commercial property, or Residential I have experience in both.



Posted by

Aida Pinto (562) 884-6196
Los Angeles County
Real Estate Broker

The Real Estate Maven : https://www.facebook.com/aRealEstateMaven?ref=hl


Short Sale, Probate and standard real estate expert.


William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

You need to get some legal advice about what to do with all the issues

Aug 26, 2018 05:46 PM
Aida Pinto
Independent Real Estate Broker - Los Angeles, CA
Real Estate Broker (562) 884-6196

William Feela Absolutely--always get advise from the appropriate professionals. 


Aug 26, 2018 05:57 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Aida, I find that talking with a CPA & an Attorney could help in a long way. I remember when my father was alive he said focus on the business first and grieve later. Good advice, easier said than done, Endre

Aug 26, 2018 07:12 PM
Aida Pinto
Independent Real Estate Broker - Los Angeles, CA
Real Estate Broker (562) 884-6196


Thank you, Endre Barath, Jr.  for your input.  Yes, most advise is easier said than done, but if you train your mind now, before a loved one dies, you will be in a better position.  When my brother died and left everything to his mother--many in the family went against her.  They tried to manipulate her and take advantage of her—and that was a niece and a sister of hers.  I just don't want others to go thru what my mother had to endure while the will was in probate.  She had just finished buying him and her own niece and sister went against her in the most horrendous way.  





Aug 27, 2018 07:59 AM