If you’ve never heard of probate before, you might find yourself wondering what on earth it is and what it means for your inheritance. After all, that’s not something they typically mention in the movies. You just have a family meeting with a lawyer, the will is read, and at least one person gets mad and storms out. Probate is a real thing though, and it does have an impact on what happens to a house that’s included in a will.
Handled by the Executor
The first thing you need to know about houses in probate is that they are generally handled by the executor of the estate until the property of the deceased is distributed based on what is written in the will. Property taxes and other bills are the responsibility of the executor. Depending on what the will says specifically about how the house is handled, they may sell the house in order to make sure any and all outstanding debts are settled.
When a house in probate is to be sold, there are three options when it comes to selling. The executor can try to sell the house themselves, they can hire a realtor to handle the marketing and sale of the house, or they can sell it to a cash buyer. Out of all three options, selling the house to a cash buyer is almost always going to be the fastest, simplest option. Once the house has been sold, the money can then go towards debts, with the remainder being distributed as dictated by the will.
The other thing that can happen to a house in probate is that it will be inherited by a beneficiary. In some cases, that can be an awesome inheritance. In other cases, it may not be quite so welcome. If you end up saddled with an inherited property that you don’t want or can’t keep for any reason, the best solution is often to get it sold as fast as possible. Again, selling to a cash buyer is the most reliable way to quickly sell a house.
Probate is the process by which a will is authenticated and the executor of the estate is approved. It sounds simple, but it can be a lengthy, complicated process, especially when a house is involved. The more you know about what to expect, the better prepared you’ll be for the outcome.
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