Self closing with deceased spouse questions

Hi all,

About to self close my first deal and wanted some reassurance that I’m doing things correctly. Parcel was owned by husband and wife as joint tenants w/rights of survivorship, wife has passed away. This is in Mohave AZ.


  1. To get the deed recorded I need to mail in three things to the recorder: New Deed, Affidavit of Property Value, and wife’s Original Death Certificate? Anything I am missing?

  2. On the new deed I’ll just need to have the husbands name listed and include "widower” and him sign (leaving the wife completely off)?

  3. Is there a risk that the deed is recorded by the recorder, I pay the seller/husband, but the paperwork gets kicked back by the assessor bc something is wrong? (was told that after it gets recorded it then needs to be approved by the assessor which takes 4-6 weeks)

I’ve spoken to the County recorders office but their info sounded very wishy-washy as they were hesitant to provide any “legal” advice. They suggested I work with an attorney or title company if I was unsure.

Any advice would be appreciated!

I am no expert, but … here is two cents worth. Maybe only worth half that. Here in the Golden State, just to your West, at our Mojave we might file an Affidavit of Death or an Affidavit of Surviving Spouse to clarify the JTTENWROS transfer of interest. With that filed, I suspect just the surviving spouse would be named and sign the deed to you.

It sounds like you are doing this by mail. If you are elsewhere in AZ you might consider going to your local county recorders office with your paperwork and have them look it over for in general compliance with their requirements. No guarantee but there should be some consistency from county to county.

Make sure you include a check for the proper fees or it will certainly come flying back to you.

@sean-markey Hah! I’m in the Golden State too. Appreciate the input, thank you! I believe that AZ has a similar affidavit that can be filed as well. Not sure if it’s needed during a sale but I will definitely look into it.

Will - Where in CA? I’m in Sonoma County. Always good to have contacts in other markets. Sean

@Sean-Markey We’re pretty close, I’m in the Sacramento area. My time in Sonoma County is limited to camping at Bodega Bay Dunes which my family and I get to enjoy occasionally. Yes, it’s nice to meet local land investors!

@willdub Good to know. Was just out at Bodega Bay last Sunday. We ride horses on the beach and use the trail that runs right next to the campground. No land deals found, just a few junkers with potential. Stay in touch. Sean

Not sure how this worked out but I am chasing a house right now with a similar fact set. They owned jointly vested JTTENWROS. He died in 2010. She refinanced in 2013 and filed both an Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant and a Grant Deed to herself before Wells Fargo recorded their new Deed of Trust.