You may have heard that once someone passes, their property will go into the probate process. If you aren’t familiar with probate, this may be confusing. Understanding what happens to a home in probate can help you prepare for being left property or even acting as an executor for a will.
What Is Probate?
In simple terms, probate is simply the process that takes place when the property of the deceased is transferred. It is heavily overseen by the court system to make sure there is no fraud taking place. Probate begins by identifying a will and then validating that it is authentic. Afterward, the wishes listed in the will are carried out. While a will does make the probate process much easier, probate can begin if there is no listed will. As a part of the probate process, an executor is named. The will usually designates an executor, but the court will appoint one if no one is named.
What Are the Options?
In most cases, the will names a beneficiary to receive the property. This makes the process simple and the executor will follow all state probate laws to transfer the property to the named beneficiary. If no one is named, or if there is no will, then the home is typically left to the next of kin such as a spouse, child, or another close relative. Lastly, the home will be sold if there are no beneficiaries or anyone else the house can be left to. The executor of the estate is responsible for selling the property.
How Do You Sell the Home?
To sell a home in probate, you need to have permission from the court. The process varies slightly here. If it is a formal probate process, things are more complicated and there are several steps to be done. First, the executor will list the home and they must include on the listing that it’s a probate sale. After an offer has been made on the house, the person who made the initial offer will attend a hearing along with any other potential buyers. Bidding will take place and the court will determine the final buyer. If the probate process is informal, it’s more simple. The executor needs to file certain paperwork and then get permission from the court. Once they do, they can sell the home normally.
Not all homes in probate will go through the same process. There are several details that can make a significant difference. Understanding your specific case is essential so you can know what to expect.
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