California  |  Real Estate Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 7/19/13, 9:13 am

Hello my name is Mike

Sadly my spouse just pass away and we had joint tenancy over our house. I hadn't had time to remove her name off the real estate deed. She had medcaid and just the last month they send a questionnaire asking if she any asset after her death. Do i have to answer and send back this questionnaire? If I do answer this questionnaire and send it back after removing my dead spouse from the real estate deed, will they take my house?

1 Answer

Answered on: 7/19/13, 10:52 am by Anthony Roach

I'm sorry for your loss. If the property was held in joint tenancy you now own the entire property by right of survivorship. To clear title, you will have to record an affidavit of death of joint tenant, which can be done later.

With respect to medicaid, people sometimes become ineligible for medicaid benefits, because the only property they own is in joint tenancy. That is because the property is not considered property of your wife's estate. I can't remember how the questionnaire is exactly worded, but the property is definitely not an an asset that she had after death.

California's laws treating joint tenancy interests as part of the estate have been struck down by the federal court. You can read one of the key cases here:

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