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Spouse’s death means a trip to recorder’s office

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DEAR BOB: A year ago my husband died unexpectedly at age 55. He did not have a will or any life insurance. We lived in our home more than 25 years and have a large amount of equity in it, but I am thinking of relocating to a lower-cost area. Title to our home is in both names as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Should I hire a lawyer to transfer the title to my name alone and will I have to go through probate court? --Annie G. DEAR ANNIE: In most states, all that is necessary for a survivor to clear the joint tenancy title is to record (1) a certified copy of the deceased joint tenant's death certificate, and (2) an affidavit of survivorship. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. A phone call to the local recorder of deeds will inform you if any additional paperwork is necessary. Most surviving joint tenants don't need to hire an attorney to do this simple title work. The probate court usually will not be involved. After you hold the title to your home in your n...