Probate required to clear title of deceased co-owner’s name

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DEAR BOB: My mother and father lived in their house for over 40 years. Dad died in 1987 and my elderly mom continues living in the home today. She recently applied for a low-income housing assistance program to replace the roof. When a title check was made, it shows title is still held in the names of both my mother and my late father. The government agency refused to pay for the new roof until my late father's name is removed from the title. How can this be done? --Robert N. DEAR ROBERT: You or your mother should consult a local probate attorney. If your father died without a living trust, which could have transferred title without probate, it might be necessary to open a probate court proceeding to transfer his title according to the terms of his will. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. If he didn't leave a will, then his title transfers according to the state law of intestate succession, presumably to your mother. Depending on the circumstances, the local probate court can resolve ...