What needs to be done to be able to sell a property that is the name of a deceased person?

UPDATED: Aug 1, 2011

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What needs to be done to be able to sell a property that is the name of a deceased person?

Larry has a property to sell, issues are: 1. His mother is on the deed, she passed away 6 years ago. 2. Larry is not on the deed, 3. Larry is the only surviving child, 4. his mother had no Will. Now Larry and I are finding a buyer, I need to know what else we need to do? Would a death certificate would be needed from where she died? We don’t know what to do. Can we just get a new deed when we find a buyer?

Asked on August 1, 2011 California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for Larry's Mother's death.  If Larry if the only child then things should be easy.  I am assuming that the house is over the value if a small estate which is I believe $100,000 in California. what Larry needs to do is to file a Petition to be appointed as the personal representative of the estate of his mother.  He would file for Letters of Administration to be issued.  They would give him the authority to transfer the property to a purchaser.  You file in the county in which she resided at the time of her death (which is probably where the house is located).  The courts may require an affidavit of heirship explaining that Larry is the only child of his Mother and thus entitled to her entire estate. The clerks of the court are very nice and they will help you. Good luck.       

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