How to Transfer Assets & Property Titles After Death

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When a person passes away, she often leaves behind a variety of assets the title to which must be legally transferred to her heirs or beneficiaries. The title to a car must be converted to show the heir owns it legally for example, and the deed to land or a home may need legal adjustments as well. The process for legally transferring assets and titles to a beneficiary or heir is achieved by going through a probate court process.

  • Talk to a state probate attorney or visit the local court house to open a probate case.

  • Compile a list of the decedent's assets and debts. Generally a court assigned or personally assigned estate executor takes care of this step.

  • Send death notifications or wait for the estate executor to send all death notices that are required by law in your state. Some states require newspaper notices to be published and a set period of time to pass so that all legitimate creditors have time to list their claims to the estate.

  • Wait for the probate judge or estate executor to pay off all debts and finalize estate settlements.

  • Distribute property and assets to beneficiaries according to the decedent's will. This requires waiting for the judge to finalize property and asset transfers, after which the executor changes titles and ownership documentation as needed for physical assets.

Tips & Warnings

  • State laws vary. Please consult with a professional probate attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state to ensure that no mistakes are made in the probate process.

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