A family member dies in Maryland owning real property? Who now owns the house?
The first step is to look at the language on the deed. A deed contains a Grantor, person or entity conveying title to the property, and a Grantee, a person, persons or entity that receives title to the property in the conveyance (i.e. sell or transfer of the property).
Frequently property is titled in more than one person’s name. This is referred to as joint ownership. Often joint ownership comes with a right of survivorship. That means that when one owner dies the other owner or owners automatically receive the deceased’s share via their right of survivorship. This is the case for husband and wife owners where the deed language will read as ‘tenants by the entirety’. Some deed language will refer to the joint owners as ‘tenants in common’. This type of deed language impacts who receives the title to the property upon one owner’s death.
If property was owned by one person only, then the property will be subject to Maryland probate laws. It will be distributed according to the decedent’s will. If the decedent died without a properly executed will, then the laws of intestate succession will determine who the new property owners will be.
For a consultation to discuss issues involving estate administration in the Greater Baltimore area, please contact Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599.