When a person dies in Florida and you're entitled to her home, you must make sure the home is transferred into your name. If the home is not in your name, you won't be able to engage in home-related transactions, such as getting a loan. How you must transfer the home into your name depends on how the home was held by the person who conveyed it to you at the time of her death.
Trust Property Transfers
If you are receiving a house through a trust as the named beneficiary, the trustee must prepare a trustee's deed and file the deed in the land records of the property's county. The deed, a legal document establishing property ownership, identifies the property, trustee, trust and beneficiary. The new deed transfers the home into the beneficiary's name.
If the house was held by the deceased as a life tenant, and if you are named on the life estate deed as the remainderman, you become the full owner upon the life tenant's death. You are already on the deed, so you do not need to file another deed to put the property in your name after the life tenant's death, but you may need to prove her death to clear up any questions about your ownership rights. For example, you may have to file a sworn statement in the county land records, with the life tenant's death certificate attached, in order to get lender approval for a home loan.
Joint Tenancies and Tenancies by the Entirety
In some other cases, ownership of the house will pass directly to you without the need for a new deed. If you held title with the deceased as joint tenants with right of survivorship, you automatically own the property upon the other owner's death. Likewise, in a tenancy by the entirety, the surviving spouse automatically becomes the sole owner of the house when her spouse dies. As with life estates, the surviving owner may have to prove the other owner's death to clear up any questions about ownership, especially if she intends to sell the home or borrow money against it.
In some situations, the property must be transferred to you by the executor -- also known as a personal representative in Florida -- or the administrator overseeing the estate. This person uses a special deed -- an executor's or administrator's deed -- to transfer the inherited property to a beneficiary or heir of the estate.