The probate period after the death of a loved one is often fraught with lots of red tape. One of the most common and most expensive parts of probate is the handling of real estate, including the sale of a house.
Steps of probate with real estate
Ideally, the person who has passed has already named an executor who is willing and capable of performing the duties for the deceased, including listing the property. In the event that there isn’t a named executor, the executor won’t do the duties, or there was no will, a court will appoint an executor to list the property for the deceased. The executor chooses the original listing price and chooses the real estate agent. The agent markets the house to attract the highest possible offer.
The accepted offer must be at least 90% of the appraisal price of the probate referee to prevent houses from being sold for less than what they’re worth. The real estate agent will also help the executor in coming upon terms of sale that work for the buyer and the seller. The heirs will receive a 15-day Notice of Proposed Action. If they haven’t made any objections within that time period, the sale will go forward without the need for court involvement. If one of the heirs makes an objection, there will be a hearing within 30 to 45 days. The agent will also continue to market the home to try to attract an overbidder.
Who can serve as executor?
So the first step is to find an executor, but there are certain rules about who can serve in this capacity. Names, the person must be of legal adult age, and they must be of sound mind. Additionally, you can’t appoint a felon, and while you can appoint someone who lives out of state, they must have an agent within the state.
People who are planning their wills should start out by finding an executor so that it’s not left to chance. This will save your heirs lots of headaches later.