Death and Real Estate

No one likes to think about death, but unfortunately it’s a reality everyone will face at some point. Particularly when it comes to death and real estate, it’s wise to plan ahead so as to avoid confusion after the property owner passes away. The way a property is titled determines what happens after an owner’s death. The laws regarding this vary by state and sometimes county. The following guidelines apply to Clark County, Nevada.

Joint Tenancy

When title is held in joint tenancy or community property with rights of survivorship and one of the vested owners passes, it’s necessary to record a Affidavit terminating joint tenancy along with a certified copy of the death certificate or an Affidavit terminating community property with rights of survivorship.

If title is not held as joint tenants or community property with rights of survivorship, you would have to go through the judicial system (court)  to obtain a court order authorizing the sale or refinance of the home.

Tenants in Common

When title is held in tenants in common and one of the vested owners passes, a court order authorizing the sale or refinance of the home is required as the ownership of the property doesn’t pass to the other owner automatically.  It could pass to any other parties listed in the will.  If no will exists then a  probate will have to be obtained.

Beneficiary Deed

If the owner of the property has given a beneficiary deed, which is a deed that can only transfer ownership of the property after death you would have to record a Death of Grantor Affidavit and also attach the certified copy of the death certificate.

Family or Living Trust

When an owner holds title in their Family or Living Trust and one of the Trustees passes, the trust would need to be reviewed to determine who the interest goes to.  If it transfers upon death to the other trustee then you would have to record a Certificate of Incumbency and also attach a certified copy of the death certificate.

 

This material is provided by Nevada Title, and is for informational purposes only.  The information used and statements of fact made have been obtained by sources considered reliable but we neither guarantee or advise.  Nevada Title Company does not practice law and we cannot give legal advice.  If you have questions, please contact an attorney for further advice.