Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Virginia

Co-owner of property

I was the co-owner of an apartment in Virginia with my mother at the time of her death. I was informed by the clerk's office I would have to provide them a triple -sealed copy of her executed/finalized Will before they would change the deed from me being ''co-owner'' to ''owner''. Is this correct?

Asked on 6/16/06, 6:34 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonathon Moseley Moseley Legal Associates LLP

Re: Co-owner of property

First, I don't understand the question. If you are right and the clerk's office is wrong, but they still won't cooperate, that may not be very helpful for. Right or wrong it might make the most sense just to provide them with what they want.

This is in Arlington, right? I am not suprised you are having problems in Arlington. My first advice is to SELL the property and get out of Arlington before they do something worse to you.

This depends on what you mean by "co-owner." You have to look at the deed and see exactly what it says, or better yet have an attorney do it.

There are different categories. A "tenant in

common" is one thing. There are other categories.

If you are simply tenants in common, then your mother's half of the property might go to her HEIRS... not you. What they are asking to see is whether there are any other heirs besides you. As far as they know, you might own half of the house and now your brother, or a grandson or cousin, owns the other half of the house.

If you are listed as joint tenant with right of survivorship, then the transfer of the property HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR MOTHER'S WILL. You immediately take full ownership of your mother's half.

BUT it depends on how the DEED to the property (not the will) is actually written. I might be able to analyze it for you for a small amount of money, as it would only take a short time.

Actually, however, all of this is wrong, because you should take the will in to the probate division of the circuit court and probate the will. You will be given official status as executor (or someone will). And they will need to officially handle all of this the right way.

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Answered on 6/17/06, 10:13 am

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