Joint Tenancy & the Other Tenant Dies
If you own real property, like a house or land, as a joint tenant with another person and that other person dies, you can transfer the deed into your name only by filing a paper with the county clerk where the home or land is located. You do not need a lawyer to do this. You will have to file some papers with the county clerk.
If the property is deed to you and another person with one of these types of joint tenancy can be terminated and transfered into the sole surviving tenant's name using this form:
- a joint tenancy with right of survivorship with someone who is your spouse
- a joint tenancy with right of survivorship with someone who is NOT a spouse
- a joint tenancy with any other person as tenants in common
- a life tenancy or the remainderman of a life tenant
If the joint tenant died on or after January 1, 2010, you will need:
- A certified copy of the death certificate issued by the State of Oklahoma or another comparable agency, if the person did not die in Oklahoma, AND
- A notarized affidavit which must include:
- A statement that you are the surviving tenant
- A legal description of the property affected by the death
- A statement that the person on the death certificate is the same person as the deceased joint tenant
- If the person who will sign the affidavit is a personal representative or is a duly appointed attorney-in-fact you will need to attach one of these to the Affidavit.
A certified copy of:
- the letters of administration,
- letters testamentary,
- letters of guardianship, or
- power of attorney
If the joint tenant died on or after January 1, 2010 you may have to file an estate tax return with the state of Oklahoma BEFORE you can terminate the tenancy.
If the deceased joint tenant was your spouse:
Take the copy of the death certificate and your affidavit (form below) to the county clerk's office in the county where your property is located and file it. The fee for filing is based on the number of pages you file, however it shouldn't be over $15.00. When you have filed the death certificate and your affidavit with the county clerk's office where the property is located, the joint tenancy is considered terminated and you will have title in your name only.
If the deceased joint tenant was NOT your spouse, AND died BEFORE January 1, 2010:
You will have to file an estate tax return with the state of Oklahoma and attach it to the form.
Unless the deceased had a considerable amount of money and property, the tax will likely be zero. The tax return is fairly lengthy, but it can be completed without the assistance of a lawyer. You may obtain a copy of the Estate Tax Form Packet (Form 454) or an Affidavit of Lineal Heirs (Form 454-B) from the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
The website is: http://www.tax.ok.gov/
The publication and form you need is at this link: http://www.tax.ok.gov/forms/45499.pdf
Once you complete the tax return or affidavit, which ever is applicable, the Oklahoma Tax Commission should send you a tax release. You can then take the tax release, the certified copy of the death certificate and your affidavit to the county clerk's office in the county where your property is located for filing.
You can also get a copy of this at the County Clerk's Office.