Question: In a recent column you said that the deed to a home owned by a husband and wife must contain specific language for the surviving spouse to become the 100% owner of the home without probate. You said that the language that should be used on the deed is “community property with right of survivorship.” We own our home in Sun Lakes in a family revocable trust that is named on the deed. Both of us are the trustees and the beneficiaries of this family revocable trust. If we want the surviving spouse to be the 100 percent owner of our home, do we need any different language in the deed?
Answer: Probably not. If the family revocable trust is the owner of the home, upon the death of the first spouse the title to the home would pass pursuant to the terms of the family revocable trust. If both spouses are the only beneficiaries, the surviving spouse should then have the 100% beneficial interest in the home without probate and without any other language in the deed.
Note: If a deed to a home or other real property is owned in a trust, limited liability company (LLC), or any other entity, the governing documents of that entity control ownership rights after the death of an individual member of that entity.