Do I have to have a letter of testamentary to prove ownership of property if there is a death and no living will?
The county where the property is said as far as they can see I am listed as owner of the property.
Am I going to have to go through probate court to get the letter of testamentary or what do I need to do to prove ownership?
2 attorney answers
It all depends on how you held title with your husband. Most couples own property in joint tenancy with right of survivorship, which means on the death of one owner the other owner automatically owns the whole, without the need for probate. Title in the property is verified simply by the death certificate for the other owner. So if this is the case with you, you shouldn't need a probate - at least not for that asset.
If, however, it was tenancy in common, you husband's share would pass to his heirs, either via a will (not a living will - that is something else), and if there is no will, by the laws of intestacy. In the latter case you would probably end up owning the property along with any living children, and probate would be needed to establish the new title. But you would want to check in with a lawyer to get a proper analysis of this.
This response is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship between any individuals, and is not intended as specific legal advice. If you wish to contact me directly please call our office at 303.541.0055, as the AVVO messaging system is not reliable.
I am sorry for your loss.
You prove ownership of real property by title. You can't rely on what the county says over the phone. If you don't have a copy, contact the clerk and county recorder and request of a copy of the title.
If you are on title as a tenant in common you must proceed to probate to get ownership of the property. Unless you are on title as joint tenant with right of survivorship, you will need to start probate and be issued letters testamentary and proceed through the entire probate process. If he had no will, then all assets pass per the intestate statute.
This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.