We're sorry to learn of the passing of your wife . . .
Of course the very best thing to do is to collect the paperwork and
see an attorney. Most any attorney will do, though one skilled in
probate and real property law (and many times if they do one, they do
both of those areas.)
The attorney will want to see two things for sure: (1) a death
certificate (certified copy is best), and (2) a copy of the deed. It
wouldn't hurt to have a third document: a title commitment issued to
you - you don't really need the commitment, but the report of the
condition of the title is a very inexpensive way to show any claims by
others (easements, mortgages, liens, etc.) even if you're pretty sure
that none of those things exist.
It isn't possible to guess exactly what your rights to the property
are, except to say that you indicate that the property is in both of
your names. Chances are that the property will go to you without any
other claims upon it, regardless of whether there was a will or not.
BUT, many things can alter that, for example: was she previously
married to someone else and if so, did she have any children from that
marriage; did she have any children at all; were you two married to
each other when the property was purchased; was it "entireties
property" (also called "spousal joint tenancy"), joint tenancy,
tenancy in common, or another form of ownership --- these are all
questions that an attorney can handle for you.
This shouldn't be a terribly expensive process. Once the attorney sees
your deed and certificate of death (and maybe the title report) he/she
can quickly determine your interest and whether it excludes or maybe
includes others. The attorney will then, probably, prepare a new deed
and have it filed. Certainly ask when you make your appointment what
the costs are expected to be - explain the documents that you have and
ask for a price estimate.
I practice law in Michigan and have seen too many situations where
folks have attempted this without an attorney - it is very complex and
easy to make a slip - and then years later you find the problem and
incur great costs (or your heirs incur great cost) getting it squared
away. Have it done once and have it done right.
I hope I have answered your question. IF NOT then just hit the
clarification button, include any other facts that you have
(particularly the words from the deed that show "to John Doe and Mary
Doe as XXXXXXXXXXX" (of course, don't use your real name!)) and I will
get right back to you.