County Clerk's Office

77 Fairfax Street, Room 102
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411
Phone: (304)258-8547
Fax: (304)258-8545

Debra A. Kesecker - County Clerk
Cathy Payne - Chief Deputy

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Real Estate

If a person dies with an interest in real estate, it will pass one of three ways:

  1. 1. Any real estate titled jointly in the name of the decedent or another person(s) WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP passes directly to the co-owner(s) and is NOT controlled by the Will or estate.
  2. 2. If there is real estate NOT titled jointly with right of survivorship and the decedent had a Will, the decedent’s interest in the real estate passes to the beneficiary or beneficiaries under the Will who are designated to receive it. When you receive real estate under a Will, the Will serves as your deed.
  3. 3. If the decedent died intestate (without a Will) real estate NOT titled jointly with right of survivorship passes to the decedents heir or heirs at law as provided by the West Virginia Code. (Statute in effect on date of death applies.)

If the decedent has a Will and it specifically directs and empowers the named Executor(s) to sell real estate (that which is NOT titled jointly with right of survivorship), then the qualified Executor(s) may do so without the consent of the beneficiaries.

If the Executor does NOT have power of sale under the Will, only the beneficiaries have the right to sell or transfer the real estate.

If there is NO Will the real estate (that which is NOT titled jointly with right of survivorship) passes directly to the heirs at law as provided by the West Virginia State Code. (Statute in effect on date of death applies.)

If there is more than one beneficiary or heir and they cannot agree as to the sale, transfer or use of probate real estate, they will need to retain an attorney and, if necessary, petition the CIRCUIT Court for relief.

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