The Summit County Probate Court is going through each deed for homes in the county in an effort to save residents money and frustration.
On Tuesday Probate Judge Todd McKenney and his team presented its Deed Review Project in the city, informing residents of how the survivorship deed works.
McKenney's judicial attorney, Steve Neumeyer, said many people don't know they have a problem with their deed until it's too late.
If there are two people who own a house without a survivorship deed, if one dies, the living spouse must go through probate court to get the deed in their name.
Depending on the house, it can cost several thousand dollars. The higher cost of the house, the higher the court costs.
On average the process takes about six to nine months, Neumeyer said.
"The purpose is to let people know, if they don't have that on their deed, when one of them dies, they need to go to probate court," he said.
As the team went through each deed, they mailed out notices to those who didn't have that survivorship language, notifying them of the potential issues.
Those who don't have the suvivorship can easily take care of it by:
- Filling out a from online at the Summit County Fiscal Office website.
- Taking it to a lawyer.
- Going to the Akron Bar Association. They will do it for $100 plus the $28 filing fee.
- Or going to the probate court, which will guide them through the process.
McKenney started the project to help educate the public on this issue, especially residents on fixed incomes because don't usually have estate planning or knowledge of the situation.
"One of the comments we got last night was, 'How would we ever know about this?'" Neumeyer said.
Residents who were notified about their deed but couldn't attend the meeting can call Judge McKenney's office at (330) 643-2350.