How Do You Transfer a House Title After a Death?

There are a number of different ways to transfer a house title after a death, including probate transfers, trust transfers and joint tenant transfers, Legal Zoom explains. The way an owner holds title to property determines how the title transfer occurs.

Probate courts are sometimes involved in title transfers, Legal Zoom says. State laws vary, so transferring decedent's property often varies by state. When transferring property through probate, the decedent's will governs the transfer of the property. If the owner died without a will, a probate judge oversees the transfer as outlined by state law.

A trust transfer occurs when the deceased created a trust prior to his death as part of his estate plan. A trust outlines how the decedent's property is transferred and to whom, Legal Zoom says. The named trustee has the power to transfer the property as outlined in the terms of the trust.

When real estate is held by a married couple, which legal professionals call "tenancy by the entirety," the real estate automatically transfers to the surviving spouse upon the other spouse's death. When unmarried parties own property as joint tenants, the same rules apply: When an owner passes away, ownership transfers automatically to the remaining owner or owners.