How to Deed Over Property With a Right of Survivorship

A "right of survivorship" is a special interest in real property. When multiple people take a parcel of property, they can choose to become "tenants with a right of survivorship." Each tenant has equal rights to use and enjoy the property during his lifetime. When there is one last surviving tenant, the full ownership right to the property vests in that person. Deeding property this way bypasses probate since the interest automatically passes to the surviving person. It is common for married couples and family members to use a right of survivorship when transferring title to real property.

Step 1

Obtain a blank survivorship deed to use as a template. Your local property records office may have copies available. You can also find templates in the laws contained in your state's property code. Samples are available on the Internet as well.

Step 2

Prepare the property deed for the transfer. Use the template as a guide. The deed must, at a minimum, state the name of the person transferring the title (the grantor), the names of the joint tenants (the grantees), the price paid for the transfer and a statement that the tenants take the property "as joint tenants with rights of survivorship." The deed must be signed by the grantor and notarized.

Step 3

File the deed in the county property records office. Provide original copies of the deed to each new owner.

Step 4

Wait for the other joint tenants to pass away. When there is one last surviving joint tenant, the full title to the property vests. This means the last surviving joint tenant becomes sole owner upon the death of every other joint tenant. When this happens, the joint tenant should write an affidavit that lists the names of the other tenants, the addresses of the tenants, the date of death of the other tenants and a description of the property. File this affidavit with the property records office, and attach certified copies of the death certificate.

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