What Do I Do with a House in Probate?

The process of obtaining an inheritance can be long and arduous. If you’re the executor of the estate, you’ll be especially aware of this, since it’s your responsibility to handle any remaining financial obligations for the deceased, including the distribution of property. So what happens when a house is involved in the probate process? What are you supposed to do with it? The short answer is that you’re supposed to do what the will says, but the longer answer can be a bit more involved.

Keep Lines of Communication Open

Communication is crucial in just about every part of life. Probate and the distribution of an inheritance is no exception. Emotions tend to run high during these times, but don’t let that scare you off of keeping everyone on the same page. Not everyone is going to like what needs to be done with a house in probate, but everyone involved should be made aware of decisions that are going to be made.

Sell the Estate

Unless there is a sole inheritor of an estate, the likelihood of it being sold is high. Even then, there’s a chance that the estate will need to be liquidated at least in part in order to settle outstanding debts and financial obligations. In some cases, selling the house can be the quickest way to move through the probate process so that everyone can move on. Generally, the expectation will be for you to sell the house for the best price you can, no less than 90% of its market value. Of course, if the house needs to be sold, you don’t want to waste time. Because of this, it can be highly beneficial to sell the property to a cash buyer. Cash buyers have made it their business to close on houses as quickly as they can, often in a month or less.

Distribute the Inheritance

After the house has been sold, what remains is to distribute the inheritance. Of course, that must wait until after any outstanding debts and financial obligations have been met. Still, once that’s all out of the way, what remains should be distributed according to the dictates of the will of the deceased.

Inheritances tend to be more complicated, lengthy things than you’d think from anytime you saw anything to do with one on TV. As with most things, the more familiar you are with probate, the easier it will be to navigate it. That’s especially true when you’re acting as the executor and there’s a house involved.

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