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How to Remove a Deceased Person’s Name from a Deed

Home – Florida Probate – How to Remove a Deceased Person

How To Remove A Deceased Person’s Name From A Deed In Broward County And Throughout Florida.

Removing the name of a deceased person from a deed to real property is a commonly asked question. The reason why most people ask how to remove the deceased’s name is to “clear title” to the property (and to have the property tax bill issued in the name of the current owner).

Like most real estate and probate matters, there are several steps to this process. Additionally, when trying to clear title to real estate, several other legal issues need to be taken into account, including homestead issues, probate, creditor claims, interests of children, future interests and trusts and taxes, just to name a few.

Generally speaking, removing a deceased person’s name from a deed requires recording in the public records three documents:

1.    A certified copy of the deceased property owner’s Death Certificate. You can get this from the Florida Office of Vital Statistics. When requesting a Death Certificate, be sure to tell them that the cause of death cannot show on the certificate.

2.    Tax forms from the State of Florida Department of Revenue (DOR). Some forms you may need are a DR-219 and a DR-312, which is called an Affidavit of No Florida Estate Tax Due. You can view and download these forms at the Florida Department of Revenue website.

3.    If a married couple owns the property and one spouse is deceased, an Affidavit of Continuous Marriage is required. This Affidavit should specify the date of marriage and include the property’s legal description, which the couple jointly owned until the death of one spouse, as well as other pertinent information to clear title, like was the decedent survived by minor children. Generally speaking, this affidavit is not available in a form document because there are a variety of clauses that can and should be added to the document to remove any clouds on the title. Furthermore, a qualified professional should draft an Affidavit to make sure the Affidavit is signed by the appropriate party and in the presence of a notary. This document is signed under penalties of perjury, so be careful of the content that is included in the Affidavit.

Note: This article applies to the following scenarios, among others, related to Florida real estate:

  • Property owned as husband and wife, and one spouse predeceases the other;
  • Property owned by more than one person as joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS) and one joint tenant dies; 
  • When there is a life estate deed with two life tenants and one life tenant dies and the remainderman is/are living; and
  • When there is a life estate deed (standard and enhanced) and all life tenants die.

If the real estate is jointly owned and all owners have died or the real estate is owned as tenants in common and all owners have died, then see our article on transfer of Florida real estate after death for help.

What Other Documents Are Needed To Get The Property In The Name Of A Surviving Spouse, Joint Tenant, or Remainderman Of A Life Estate Deed?

Other documents may be needed like a non-identification affidavit, which is used when a person with a similar name appears in the public records who may have judgments or other liens against them. Also, if the decedent died in Canada owning Florida real estate (or died in another country), then an affidavit will likely be needed to record the foreign Death Certificate in our public records.

(Please note, the fee for our office to perform the services listed above is $850.00, plus recording costs – recordings costs are normally less than $50.00 – Obtaining a copy of a Death Certificate is not included in these fees and costs, which we recommend you do on your own.)

This article is only a general description of what you need to do to remove a deceased person’s name from a deed. This process can be more complicated, and more expensive than described above. For example, there may be probate issues, including creditor claims, undue influence claims, and the interests of heirs. We recommend you consult a real estate lawyer or probate lawyer for professional help and guidance.


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