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Posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 by Peter Klenk

Good news for the surviving spouses who owned houses in Philadelphia with their now deceased spouses either Jointly with a Right of Survivorship or as Tenants in the Entireties (Tenancy by the Entirety). Until recently to file a quitclaim deed placing the house into the surviving spouse’s name it was necessary to pay a $230.00 filing fee to Philadelphia. Compared to other counties, such as Montgomery County or Bucks County, this fee was rather steep. Now Bill No. 110206 reduces that fee.

If a deed is being filed solely for the purpose of removing the name of a deceased spouse or life partner and placing the property into the name of the surviving spouse the fee is reduced to $26.00. In order to qualify for this reduced fee the Philadelphia surviving spouse must provide the Philadelphia Recorder of Deeds the following:

  1. An Affidavit of Surviving Spouse;
  2. A Certified Copy of Marriage License or Certified Letter from Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations in the case of a Life Partner; and
  3. A Certified Copy of Death Certificate.

In probating an estate there can be many fees that can add up to a expensive total, even if there is no Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax due because all assets pass to a surviving spouse. It is good to see Philadelphia County taking notice of these fees and reducing them when a deed is being filed simply to clarify that at Tenancy by the Entireties or Jointly held property is now the surviving spouse’s as a Sole Proprietor.

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