Losing a loved one is already a challenge and even more so complicated if it involves situations such as transfer of deed of real estate properties. The grieving process is often exacerbated by the many paperwork needed and can considerably lengthen the process. However, with the proper planning prior to death, like having a co-owner of the property, it doesn’t have to be a grueling process to go through. The property doesn’t even have to be included in a will and your co-owner can automatically have sole ownership of it after your passing. All they have to do is file an affidavit of survivorship. Read More
An affidavit of survivorship is a legal document that helps one invoke their legal rights and take full ownership of a property after their co-owner have since passed away. It states that the surviving property owner have the survivorship rights and is automatically entitled to be its full owner. The surviving owner of a joint tenancy needs to file this sworn statement to let the government know that the other joint tenant has died and the surviving tenant is taking full ownership of the property by operation of the law.
How To Write And Affidavit of Survivorship
Being a joint tenant or co-owner of a property should give you the legal right to fully own the said estate without any trouble. It should automatically be yours without probate. However, there are courts that require you to submit necessary documentation such as an affidavit of survivorship when invoking your survivorship rights to absorb the decedent’s share of the property.
Follow these five simple steps you should take when writing an affidavit of survivorship:
Gather all the information that you need
To create your document, you should have the following information ready:
Biographical information of the people involved
Governing state and the execution details
Real property details and method of property ownership
Make sure that these are all true and accurate. The affiant needs to swear an oath and attest to the truthfulness of the affidavit.
Introduce the affiant and provide the decedent’s information
After gathering all pertinent information, introduce the affiant, who is the surviving joint tenant. Include all biographical and verifiable details such as full legal name, age, current residence, and the relationship to the decedent. Decedent’s information should also be provided—their full legal name, date of death, and their permanent residence before death.
Write down all of the property details and other governing state and execution details
Property details are part of the most important information that must be included in the affidavit of survivorship. Real estate property details should stipulate a comprehensive description of the property, its location and current condition, as well as outstanding taxes and liens.
Invoke your survivorship right by stating full ownership claim and eliminating the decedent’s interest in the property
Once you have provided all the other information, don’t forget this part of your affidavit of survivorship. In this section, you must declare the passing of the property’s co-owner and claim full ownership as stipulated in the joint tenancy deed. It is essential that this part is included to invoke your survivorship rights to the property and to avoid probate process.
File the affidavit of survivorship along with its attachments
After drafting your affidavit of survivorship, attach other documents (as needed) and have them signed and notarized. Make sure that you sign your final draft in the presence of a notary public to verify your identity. Once they have signed and stamped the affidavit with their seal, it is now a valid document that you can file in court for your survivorship claims.
Who can use an affidavit of survivorship?
The affidavit of survivorship can be used if:
You are one of the owners of a joint property with someone who passed away
You are currently a joint owner of a real estate property and you want to be prepared with the right documents to help make a tough situation a little easier for your co-owner.
How does an affidavit of survivorship work?
Joint tenants of a real estate property have survivorship rights to it. This means that the joint tenants are co-owners and have no undivided interest with the property. If either of the tenants dies, full ownership of the property is automatically shifted and transferred to the surviving joint tenant. Doing this avoids the long process of court probate and tenants have no right to leave ownership to anyone else. But to ensure that the rightful survivor takes ownership, they must take at least one more step for legal transfer of the property by filing an affidavit of survivorship.
Can the affidavit of survivorship be filed anywhere?
No. The affidavit should be filed where the real estate property is located. This means that the survivor needs to file the affidavit of survivorship to the county that has the jurisdiction of the property’s location. Along with its attachments, filing an affidavit of survivorship within the county with jurisdiction of the property is all the survivor needs to do and the property’s deed takes care of the rest of the process.
What are the documents needed or the required documents in filing an affidavit of survivorship?
The court may require the survivor to produce and submit a copy of the property title or deed and a copy of the death certificate as an attachment to the affidavit of survivorship. The sworn statement will tie these two documents together and will be kept on record and stays on file with the county.
Truly, the passing of someone you love and really close to you is a difficult time and the grief you feel doesn’t have to be exacerbated with unnecessary trouble of going through probate. As a joint tenant, you have all the survivorship rights to the property and legally entitled to. Just make sure that the proper authorities are notified with the death of your co-owner by filing an affidavit of survivorship. This will formalize the survivorship process and It will help in the ease of transfer of full ownership of the property.