When a loved one passes away, the last thing you want to worry about is a big legal query. Unfortunately, that is exactly what probate court is. Probate is the process by which the state ensures that a deceased person’s assets are handled appropriately. It can take months or even years. Here’s what to expect when your home goes into probate.
Assignment of the Executor or Administrator
If there is a will, the executor should have already been named. In this case, the court simply assigns the person designated in the will. If there is no will, the will hasn’t named an executor, or the person designated in the will is unable to perform the executor duties, the court will appoint someone to be the administrator. The executor or administrator is responsible for paying taxes on the estate, gathering relevant documents, paying off debts, and distributing any remaining assets to the beneficiaries.
Each state is a little bit different when it comes to probate laws. Many states have adopted the Uniform Probate Code (UPC), which is simply a model code penned by a national group of experts. However, some states have only partially adopted the UPC, while others have disregarded it completely. If you have been named executor, it is critical that you understand the legal requirements for your state. Your main legal requirements center around informing all of the beneficiaries and creditors of the person’s passing. In addition, it is your responsibility to maintain and protect all property included in the estate until it has been distributed. This means you must keep the home in the same condition it was at the time of the owner’s death, both inside and out.
The beneficiaries of the estate will eventually have to decide what to do with the home. Usually, the property is considered a liability because of the maintenance laws. Most families opt to sell the home and distribute the proceeds as quickly as possible. All you need to accomplish this is the written permission of each of the beneficiaries.
Managing an inherited property is a big responsibility. It takes both time and money to keep up with it–time and money most people don’t have. The quickest way to get out of an unwanted property is to sell it to a home buying company. They will take it off your hands as-is, and you can close in as little as a week.
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