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.

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."

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.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

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 Transfer Real Property After Death in the State of Florida


Related articles

Dying Without a Will in North Carolina

In North Carolina, as in other states, dying without a will is known as dying intestate. It means your assets and liabilities are handled according to the state's laws of intestate succession. This is a complex set of rules, enforced by the probate court, that determines who the heirs of your estate are and the portion of the estate to which they are entitled.

Quit Claim & Divorce Laws in Michigan

Michigan couples, like couples around the country, must split their marital property when they divorce, including the marital home. Since a house can't be divided down the middle, couples sometimes decide to split the value of the home; one spouse keeps the home and the mortgage, while the other gets her share of the equity in the form of a buyout. The spouse who gets the buyout signs a quit claim deed to give the other spouse full title to the home.

Filing a Quit Claim Deed in Florida After a Divorce

You may have a lot of paperwork to file after your divorce is final, including documents to transfer ownership in items you bought while married. You will have to use different methods to transfer ownership or responsibility for debts, vehicle titles and real estate. One common method to transfer ownership of real estate is a quitclaim deed, which must be filed with the county.

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

Related articles

Meaning of the Legal Term "Rights of Survivorship"

The term, “Rights of survivorship,” refers to a form of property ownership where two or more people -- often a husband ...

In Illinois, What Happens to a Tenancy in Common When There Is a Divorce?

When two people marry, the couple will share their property. Sometimes, couples may want to formalize the situation by ...

Joint Tenancy and Divorce in California

All divorcing couples in California should carefully review titles to their real property to determine if it is ...

The Transfer of Property Deed Upon a Spouse's Death

One spouse may handle all business and financial transactions during a marriage, including the acquisition of property. ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED