Skip to main content

Inherited property via Will, but no deed. How do I obtain a deed?

Port Charlotte, FL |

The only property ownership evidence I have is the court order signed by the county judge after the Will completed Probate. My attorney told me that no deed is required. I still desire a deed as proof of ownership. How do I obtain one, and what type should I have- Warranty; Quick Claim?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. I have handled real estate closings were the owner's title was based upon a will which was admitted to probate. The will should identify the persons who receive the specific piece of property, or who receives the remainder of the estate after specific gifts are made.

    The personal representative of an estate can sign a "Personal Representative's Deed" or a "Personal Representative's Certificate of Release and Distribution". It would not be appropriate for a personal representative to sign a Warranty Deed or a Quit Claim Deed.

    It is also possible that during the probate process, an "Order Determing Homestead Status" was entered. This order establishes several important things, including the ownership of the home after the decedent's death.

    If the Personal Representative does not sign a Personal Representative's Deed or a Certificate of Release and Distribution, and the estate is closed, the will operates like a deed and shows that the property passed to the person or persons identified in your will.

    I don't have all of the necessary facts to give a reliable answer, but the estate attorney's answer sounds reasonable. If you're still not satisfied, you might consutl with a real estate attorney in your area and ask the attorney to review the title and give you at least an informal opinion about the status of the title.

    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.


  2. There is no official "deed" issued when you inherit a property by will. The will, once admitted to probate, and the court orders regarding the distribution of the property to the appropriate heirs or beneficiaries under the will, actually constitute the documents which convey title. A title examiner following the chain of title to this property will see that the decedent owned it, that a probate was opened in the decedent's name, a copy of the will should be available through the probate file, which will specify who is to receive the property. At the time the probate is closed, sometimes probate attorneys have the personal representative execute a "Certificate of Distribution" to the appropriate beneficiary but it is not really a necessary step. In the case of homestead property, which has been set aside as homestead by court order, the order itself will state who becomes the owner of the property declared homestead, and in what proportionate shares. In such a case, then THAT order serves in place of the deed you are inquiring about. If the probate has been properly concluded, and the personal representative has informed the court that all taxes have been paid relative to the estate, and all costs of administration or probate fees have been paid, and all creditors filing valid claims have been satisfied, there is nothing else needed to vest property in your name if the order correctly describes the property by legal description and correctly spells your name as the rightful beneficiary under the will.


  3. The two above attorneys have answered your questions as I would have answered it. In our practice of probate our office normally would have the personal Representative sign a Personal Representative Deed and file that document thus passing the property from the Estate to the appropriate beneficiary

    See an elder law attorney since this subject can be complex and other issues are created that you might require further information. My website below may have articles that may further be of interest to you on this subject. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thank you!
    My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

    Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
    Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
    P.O. Box 1535
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-2479
    (O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109

    Website: http://www.DanArmstrong.com

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Questions?
An attorney can help.

Post a question and get free legal advice from attorneys.

Ask a Lawyer

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics