Do I Use a Will or a Quitclaim Deed to Transfer a Piece of Real Estate After Someone’s Death?

Neither. Once someone has died, property cannot be “transferred”.

A Will does not “transfer” any real property per se. Through the probate court process, property can be transferred by court order following a death — but this transfer does not happen automatically. The probate court typically follows the wishes outlined in a Will, but the Court still has discretion.

Further, a property owner cannot sign a Quitclaim Deed after death (obviously), so a Deed cannot be used to transfer a piece of real estate after someone has already died.

Thus, the best-case options are: 1) transfer the property while the property owner is still alive; or 2) create and file a Deed with Survivorship rights prior to death so that the person named on the deed takes title of the property after the death of the property owner.

But neither of these options can be utilized after a death. If a property owner dies without providing specific legal direction as to the distribution of property, the only method of “transfer” of that property is through probate.

[Get complete details on Standard Legal’s Last Will and Testament legal forms software here.]