How to Transfer a Property Deed to a Surviving Spouse in the State of Michigan

By Maggie Lourdes

Generally, spouses in Michigan own real property through tenancy by the entirety, which allows spouses to own property together as a single legal entity. With this form of ownership, when a spouse dies, the surviving spouse is entitled to full ownership of the property. The procedure for transferring real property to a surviving spouse in Michigan is typically a straightforward task. Recording the decedent spouse's certified death certificate at the county's register of deeds where the property is located is usually all that is required.

Generally, spouses in Michigan own real property through tenancy by the entirety, which allows spouses to own property together as a single legal entity. With this form of ownership, when a spouse dies, the surviving spouse is entitled to full ownership of the property. The procedure for transferring real property to a surviving spouse in Michigan is typically a straightforward task. Recording the decedent spouse's certified death certificate at the county's register of deeds where the property is located is usually all that is required.

Check the Deeds

Step 1

Carefully read the deed. Be certain the spouses are the only named property owners listed. Confirm that after the spouses' names, language refers to a tenancy by entirety. For example, "John Smith and Mary Smith, husband and wife" or "John Smith and Mary Smith, his wife" or "John Smith and Mary Smith, tenants by the entirety."

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Step 2

Obtain a certified death certificate for the decedent spouse from the funeral home that handled the remains or from the vital records office for the county in which the spouse died. You may also order a certified death certificate online at the State of Michigan Vital Records Office's website. Be prepared to pay a small fee for a certified copy.

Step 3

Hand-deliver or mail the death certificate to the register of deeds for the county in which the property is located. Contact the register of deeds in advance to ascertain the filing fee. Recording fees generally run $14 to $15 dollars. Ask for any special mailing instructions if your preference is to mail the death certificate versus hand-delivery.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to Remove a Descendant's Name From a Property Deed

References

Related articles

Quitclaim Deed & Divorce in Washington State

In Washington, like all states, real property, like a house, can only be transferred in writing. The document that transfers property is called a deed. Quitclaim deeds are the simplest way to transfer property, but they carry risks that other deeds do not. Unlike warranty deeds, where the person giving the property guarantees that she owns the whole property free and clear, quitclaim deeds make no promises that the property transferred is free of liens or encumbrances, like mortgages. By accepting a quitclaim deed, you are assuming a greater risk than you would if the property was transferred by warranty deed.

How do I File a Motion to Change the Venue for a Divorce in Michigan?

Michigan handles the venue of domestic relations cases differently from other civil actions. When filing for divorce in Michigan, a party may select any circuit court within the commonwealth in which to file the proceeding. However, the preferred venue is the circuit court for the county where either spouse currently resides. The only residency requirement to file a divorce proceeding is to live in the Commonwealth of Michigan for no less than six months prior to the date of filing. Venue may be changed when one party is seeking a modification to a divorce decree.

How to Get Heir Property in Your Name if There Is No Will

So, your parent or relative has died without a last will and testament, leaving you as sole heir or as joint heir with other relatives. If no estate planning provisions were made for property to pass into your name immediately upon death, then the laws of your state as well as the desires and wishes of other heirs, may influence how -- or if you acquire full ownership rights in the decedent’s property.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

How to Transfer Real Property After Death in the State of Florida

You may be the surviving spouse or child of someone who died owning real estate in Florida. Whether you desire to keep ...

How Does a Person With a Life Estate Get Title to Property?

Life estates are a unique type of property ownership that allows different people to own land at different times. A ...

Can a Divorce Decree Be Used in Lieu of a Quit Claim in Ohio?

When a judge issues a divorce decree, he usually specifies how personal property and real estate should be divided ...

How to Transfer a Deed to a House if the Owner Dies Without a Will

When someone who owns the entire interest in a parcel of land or real property dies without a will, the state’s ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED