The following is from the Listers Handbook section entitled "Determining Who the Owner Is"
We are often asked if it's okay to change the name when one owner dies and a certified copy of the
death certificate is of record. In cases when the property was held in joint tenancy, including by the
entireties, ownership is necessarily changed by the death of the joint owner. In such cases, ownership
is not vested in the estate of the deceased, rather the transfer is automatic and without necessity of
probate. If you are not sure, consult your town attorney.
Do not make changes without written documentation in your land records to back you up.
Sometimes a lister will be asked to list a building to other than the owner of the underlying land. For
instance, a son or daughter might build a house on the parents’ land and then ask that the house be
listed separately to the child. Absent some written instrument conveying the house to the child being
recorded in the town office, the listers should treat the house as a part of the parcel on which it is
situated. Another situation that often occurs . . . you get a phone call indicating someone has died, or
informing you of a name change. This is not sufficient to make a change on your grand list. You must
have something recorded in your town records, such as a death certificate or a name change notice as
provided in 27 V.S.A. 350.
Hope this is helpful.
Mary Jane Grace, Program Technician
Property Valuation and Review Division
Vermont Dept. of Taxes
-----Original Message-----
From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Huntington Town Clerk - Heidi Racht
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 9:31 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
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