Owner's Spouse Passed Away

5 Replies


Got first wholesale contract. Found a buyer. But title attorney has found that owner had deeded title to himself and his wife in 2000. She died some years later and did not leave a will; also no probate was done.

What happens now?

Given that the property was deeded to both their names, doesn’t her share automatically go to him upon her passing? I am surprised that he still has to go through probate. Buyer says that that process can take 6 months. Anyone have this problem before?

Thanks for your time.

Hassan Jeng

If the husband and wife held title either as 1) tenants by the entireties; OR 2) joint tenants, then the property passed to the survivor as a matter of law and there would be no need for probate.

It's possible husband did this on his own and failed to identify a tenancy. Does the deed at least state "husband and wife"?


Thanks for the prompt response. The deed does not seem to indicate "husband and wife," and I do not see the word "tenant" in it. 

But one would think, like you say, that property should automatically transfer to husband upon wife's passing. Lawyer is saying otherwise. 


If no tenancy is stated, they were tenants in common and the interest must be probated. Shouldn't take 6 months though... more like a few weeks to get a PR/Executor appointed.

You should take the paperwork to a lawyer and have them decide what needs to happen.It could be as simple as getting her death certificate from the Recorders office.

Okay, lawyer who looked at the deed says it would be roughly 5 weeks, consistent with both your statements. Thank you so much!

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