When a Florida resident dies owning a real estate property in his sole name, the property is generally inherited through the decedent’s will.
What happens if there is no will? Are there alternatives to transferring a deed to a house if the owner dies intestate in Florida? Read on to find out.
How Do You Transfer a Deed to a House If the Owner Dies Without a Will in Florida? – In Detail
Assets titled solely in a deceased person’s name must go through probate in Florida. During probate, a court will oversee the process of distribution and appoint a personal representative to administer the estate.
Without a will, there are no written provisions that outline how the estate should be distributed. In such cases, the execution and distribution of the decedent’s estate must follow the laws of intestacy.
Once appointed in court, the personal representative must wrap up the intestate estate, settle any pending liabilities, and distribute the remaining assets following a statutory order of preference.
When distributing the assets, the personal representative is responsible for transferring the title of property to the rightful heirs.
Please note that a house protected under the Florida homestead law has specific rules to determine who will inherit it and how the deed of the property should be transferred to the legitimate heirs.
If the owner of the property died without a will but the house is titled in the name of a trust, it does not need to go through probate. The trustee named by the trust maker must transfer the house to its rightful owner, following the instructions in the trust instrument.
Lady Bird Deeds
Generally referred to as “lady bird deeds,” enhanced life estate deeds allow you to transfer the title of a house upon death without court intervention. Florida law does not permit transfer-on-death deeds, which makes enhanced life estate deeds a feasible alternative.
Even though this legal solution is perfectly legal and inexpensive, the best approach is to consult with an expert attorney to identify whether a lady bird deed is an ideal solution for your case.
Certain forms of joint ownership permit a co-owner to inherit a house outside of probate. If there is no will, the property is not subject to the process of division and distribution required by Florida intestacy laws.
If the deed to the house was held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, the surviving tenant automatically receives ownership of the deceased tenant’s share of ownership.
Probate is not necessary. To transfer the deed, the new owner must file specific forms and present a valid death certificate to the land records office of the county where the house is located.
In Florida, spouses can own a house under tenancy by the entirety, a form of ownership exclusive to married couples. As its name suggests, each tenant owns the property in its entirety. When one of the spouses dies, the surviving spouse automatically receives full ownership of the house.
Protect Your Estate Upon Death – Contact Your Florida Probate Lawyer Today
Avoid unnecessary risks – immediately contact Attorneys Romy B. Jurado and Diana C. Collazos by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing Romy@juradolawfirm.com for expert legal guidance.