How do I remove Dad's name from properties after his death?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 28, 2016
Skidog asked...

We are from Wisconsin. My parents owned several properties together. My father passed away and there is no executor or will. Should I remove my dad's name from their joint properties and what is the best way to do that? Some of the properties are out of state.

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

If your parents owned the various properties jointly"”usually in joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety"”then the full ownership of the property most likely passed to your mother at your dad's death.

But ownership issues aside, you might still want to remove your dad's name from the title document to help make future transfers of the property easy. And many people are moved to do so simply because it can seem rather painful to see the deceased's name on the title document.

Fortunately, it is easy to make this amendment to property deeds. It generally requires only presenting proof of death such as a certified death certificate, filling out a brief form with a local court or land records office, and paying a small fee.

In Wisconsin, the document, called a Termination of Decedent's Property Interest, is completed and filed with the local Registrar of Deeds for a charge of about $25.

In other states, the cost may be slightly more or less and the document and the official recording office may have a slightly different name, but you should be able to locate it easily, or get the direction you need from a local court.