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My House is in Probate–What Now?

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Inheriting a property is a wonderful blessing that generally comes on the tail end of a painful and difficult loss. However, navigating probate when you are in mourning can be a major challenge. Probate court is a lengthy and confusing process. This article is designed to help ease that burden.

The Roles of the Executor

In probate, the deceased person’s debts are paid from the estate, after which the remaining assets are divided out amongst the beneficiaries. When there is a will, there should have been an executor named. The executor is charged with overseeing the management of the estate. This person is responsible for informing the beneficiaries of the death, collecting the pertinent documents, paying down the debts, and distributing the assets. If there is no will, an administrator will be appointed by the court.

Maintaining the Home

Another role of the executor is to properly maintain any real estate for the entire duration of probate. By law, the executor is to ensure that no value is lost on the home during this time. Maintenance includes watering and mowing the lawn, manicuring the landscape, picking up leaves in the fall, winterizing the house and yard, cleaning out gutters, preventing pipes from freezing, and keeping the property safe from thieves and vandals. This can be an overwhelming responsibility, especially if the executor lives a long distance from the property. That is why many families choose to sell the home and distribute the proceeds as quickly as possible. 

Make a Decision

Each beneficiary of the home must be unanimous in the decision of what to do with the property. Of course, you do have the option to keep the home and rent it out. However, the most convenient option is to sell the home and disperse the proceeds. One popular option is to sell the property to a home buying company. This eliminates the need to make repairs, hire a realtor, be there for showings, and continue maintenance during the lengthy process of a traditional sale. Best of all, you can sell your inherited property to a home buying company while it is in probate. 

Probate court can take over a year to complete and requires some hefty fees. It isn’t something you want to go into unprepared. You can simplify the process significantly by deciding right away to sell the home. By selling quickly, you can at least get rid of one major stressor during this challenging time.  

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