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Real Estate Probate

Real Estate Probate: What is it, and how to acquire properties?

Real Estate Probate: is the first step in the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate, settling any existing claims and distributing the property as stated in the will.

In the Probate Court, a judge appoints an Executor to oversee its administration. It is the Executor’s job to make sure that the belongings are divided fairly and according to the decedent’s wishes.

The estate will be probated whether or not there is a will.

  • With a valid will: The will determines how the estate is transferred during probate and to whom.
  • Without a valid will: The laws of the specific State will determine who gets what parts of the estate.

Order of the estate distribution:

Creditors that have a valid claim are likely to be paid in the following order (though the order varies from state to state):

  1. Estate administration costs (legal advertising, appraisal fees, and so on)
  2. Family allowances
  3. Funeral expenses
  4. Taxes and debt
  5. All remaining claims

The amount left after the creditors get their money is distributed to the heirs or to the beneficiaries named in the will. If the person died without a will, the State laws determine how the property is distributed.

What motivates owner of Probate Property to sell real estate property quickly?

In many cases, when an heir inherits property, they inherit all the problems that go with it: as stated above, there are estate taxes to be paid, repairs that must be made and upkeep, especially if the home had been neglected, because of an absentee owner or an elderly person with limited resources. Furthermore, there could be a first or second mortgage that must be paid.

Add in the fact that there are often multiple ‘owners’, and many of them may live far away, and you have a situation where selling the house is the best, sometimes only option.

In most cases, the Appointed Executor has the power to make the decision to sell – as long as he has the agreement of all the heirs to the estate. He or she may also need the permission of the court, but even if that happens, the agreement of all the heirs will usually be all the judge needs to approve a sale of real estate. Each State has different laws pertaining to probate, so make sure you research the laws for your State.

How do you find real estate properties in Probate?

Wills in probate are a matter of public record. There are online directories where you can find properties in probate, sorted by State and County, or your local legal paper or by going down to the courthouse and viewing public records.

Once you have the list of properties in probate, you can send out letters or postcards, make a phone call, and even pay a personal visit. Sometimes it does take a little work and follow up to make a successful connection with the Executor, but it will pay off. Just keep in mind that you are offering a solution that they may not have considered – ready cash.

Article written and published by Laura Al-Amery. Please connect with me on LinkedIn.

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