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My spouse is on title to a home with his elderly parent. If the parent passes away, will the home be held up

Los Angeles, CA |

for any legal reason from selling right away? The parent has a will and everything is left to my spouse who is an only child. They reside in California. Thank you!

Attorney Answers 3

  1. The answer to your question depends upon the manner in which title is held. If it shows no specific title form or if it shows tenants in common, probate will likely be necessary, delaying the sale you seek. If the property is held as joint tenants, with the filing of the proper affidavit with the county recorder, a sale could be facilitated quickly. There are several caveats to this answer which require more info. Seek legal counsel before you do anything.

  2. How is title currently held? Is it a joint tenancy with right of survivorship? Or is it a tenancy in common?

    The answer to your question depends upon the manner in which title is held. If the parent has a will, then most likely, probate will be necessary, which will significantly delay the sale of the house.

    However, if the house is held as joint tenants, then the surviving co-owner merely needs to record an affidavit of death with the county recorder's office and can proceed with the sale.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

  3. What do you mean by on title? There are several ways to be “on title”; if your husband is a joint tenant with his parent the title will pass to your husband by operation of law. You simply record an affidavit death of joint tenant. No Probate. There are some disadvantages to this method if the estate is large.

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