Selling a House During Probate Is a Hassle, but Most Probate Sales Can Be Avoided
You might have consoled your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews on the eve of their weddings that few other events in their lives will involve as much stress as wedding planning. In fact, there are a few other major life events that almost always involve prolonged stress, but not very many. Caring for a new baby that only sleeps for very short intervals is stressful, and so is caring for aging parents. Selling a house ranks highly among stressful events of one’s adult life, even in the best of circumstances. Imagine how much harder it is to sell a house for which you only become responsible because of the death of your parents, and that your siblings blame you for everything that goes wrong with the sale or try to block everything that goes right. If you are the executor or an estate that includes a house to be sold or shared by several heirs, a Central Florida probate lawyer can help make the process easier.
Why Do People Sell Real Estate During Probate?
Sale of real estate is one of the main factors that makes an estate take longer to settle. In the simplest cases, the estate going through probate either does not include any real estate, or else each property passes on to one heir without any disputes. When things are not so simple, though, the personal representative of the estate has the unenviable task of conducting a probate sale. These are some reasons that people decide to sell houses during probate:
- Selling the house is the only way to satisfy the deceased person’s debts, because the deceased person did not leave behind enough liquid assets to pay off their debts.
- The deceased person did not leave a will, and selling the house is a necessary step toward dividing the estate among the heirs.
- The deceased person specified in their will that they were leaving the house to multiple heirs, but the heirs would rather have money equivalent to the value of the house, instead of keeping the house.
You can probably imagine that this process could be fraught with hard feelings, but there are actually even more potential problems than meet the eye. Before you can sell the house, you must get the court’s approval about the sale price, which is a time-consuming process if you cannot find any buyers at the original asking price. Before you lower the price, you must get the approval of all the other beneficiaries who would be affected by the change in price, or else provide the court with proof that you notified these parties and their lack of response indicates a lack of objection.
If you are the personal representative of the estate, you are stuck with the task of a probate sale, but a probate lawyer can make the process go more smoothly. You can, however, avoid your own house going through an estate sale. For example, you can place it in a trust or transfer its title to the beneficiary while you are still alive.
Contact a Skilled Tampa Attorney
A Tampa probate lawyer can help you protect your family from the costs and stresses of probate sales. Contact David Toback for help today.