Inheriting Real Property and No Deed to Show For It.

Theodora Vaporis
Theodora A. Vaporis

When you find out that you have inherited real property, a reasonable assumption might be that a deed is forthcoming. After all, when we buy real property we get a deed to show that we own it. However, with inherited real property in North Carolina, there is no new deed. It may seem counter-intuitive but it is the practice. The reason for this is because real property passes immediately upon death in North Carolina. Therefore, you owned the property as soon as the person who left it to you died. Of course, if the person who died has a lot of debt and not enough personal property assets to pay that debt, the Executor can and should ask the Court for permission to take that real property back in to the Estate to pay the debts. In almost all circumstances, the Court grants the Executor this permission.

New owners of inherited property often feel concern that the records do not show their ownership. Ownership is shown with the Will (or Estate file) and Death certificate that are on file. The records with the Tax Department can be changed using these documents and that way the Tax Department has a correct record of ownership.

When real property is owned as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship or Tenancy by the Entireties and the other owner dies, a new deed is not needed to reflect the death of one of the joint owners.  Once again, the filing of the Will (or Estate file) and Death certificate can accomplish this.

If you have any questions about inherited real property, contact the attorneys at Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A. for assistance.