A survivorship affidavit is a legal document used to remove a deceased owner from title to property by recording evidence of the deceased owner’s death in the land records.
The purpose of a survivorship affidavit is to clear up the land records by letting third parties—including title companies, lenders, and the property tax officials—know that an owner has passed away and that you now own the property without that owner. It can be used in two situations:
- While the deceased owner was alive, you and the deceased owner jointly owned the property as joint tenants with right of survivorship, tenants by the entirety, or community property with right of survivorship.
- You did not own jointly own the property with the deceased owner while the deceased owner was alive, but the deceased owner named you to inherit the property through a life estate deed, TOD or beneficiary deed, or lady bird deed.
Note: This interview cannot be used to transfer property to you if you are not already listed as a joint owner or named as a beneficiary. If the deceased owner died without naming you to inherit the property—or if the deceased owner named you to inherit the property through a will or a trust—you should speak to an attorney about probate or trust administration.
A survivorship affidavit is sometimes called an affidavit of survivorship, affidavit of surviving spouse, affidavit of surviving joint tenant, or affidavit of continuous marriage. These terms all refer to the same instrument.