It depends on how the deed is written. If the owners are "husband and wife
as tenants by the entirety", the ownership passes automatically on the death
of one spouse without the necessity for probate court action. No new deed
is required. (This is also true for joint owners who are not married; the
language in such a deed is "joint tenants with right of survivorship."
Ownership as "tenants in common" requires probate court action.)
In Marlboro, if the deceased was a resident and we have the death
certificate in the Vital Records, we are not usually asked to record a death
certificate in the Land Records. If the deceased was not a resident, the
lawyers or the family have us record the death certificate in the Land
We do change the Grand List (and therefore, the tax bill) to say "Estate of"
after the deceased's name if we know about the death before we receive the
certificate for recording.
It is quite common to get a call from a surviving spouse who has just
received a tax bill; I check the deed language and, if appropriate, tell the
spouse to send a certificate for recording. This is one of those things I
have time for in a small town. I don't know what happens in the bigger
towns and cities.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Huntington Town Clerk - Heidi Racht" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 9:30 AM
Subject: removal of deceased spouse from property
> Hello Clerks,
> One of our listers just asked me about how to remove a deceased husband
> from the property.
> I have been told two different things regarding the removal of a deceased
> spouse from a deed.
> 1. death certificate has to be recorded
> 2. death certificate does not have to be recorded since under Vermont law
> it is automatic.
> Can someone please tell me how a widow can easily get her property changed
> to her name only?
> Also, can the tax bill (and listers' record) have just one name while the
> deed remains unchanged?
> Thanks, in advance, for your help.
> Heidi Racht