Wichita Real Estate Blog

The Process Surrounding a House in Probate

Not all home sales are easy to navigate. One example of when a home sale becomes complicated is if the home is in probate. If this situation applies to you, it’s best to take some time to understand what it means when a house is in probate and what your next steps will be. 

What is Probate?

A house goes into probate after the owner has died. During probate, the deceased homeowners assets need to be assessed and distributed to any heirs. Typically, these assets, which include the home, will first be used to pay taxes and debts in the deceased’s name before being distributed. The process will vary depending on whether or not the deceased left behind a will. In many cases, probate can be avoided if the homeowner has created a will, named beneficiaries, and taken care of debts and other matters during their lifetime. If these things are not done, it can make the probate process more difficult. 

How it Works 

To begin the probate process, when papers are filed with a probate court. When these papers are filed, the deceased’s will and death certificate will be authenticated. Any beneficiaries will be notified and the process of distributing assets will begin. As far as the house is concerned, there are three possible outcomes. If there is a will, then the house will be transferred to the heir(s) listed in the will. If no will exists, the home is transferred to the surviving spouse, children, or next of kin. The third option is the executor of the estate will sell the house through typical means. In these cases, it’s essential to find a realtor with experience selling a home in probate. 

Who Handles It?

One of the biggest questions that comes with a home in probate is who will be handling the estate. Again, this will depend on whether or not there is an existing will. Commonly, the will designates someone as the executor of the estate. It is the duty of the executor to manage transferring the property or selling it. If there is no will or if the will does not name an executor, then the court will appoint one. This will usually be a close family member. The court will also appoint an executor if the heirs listed in the will are under 18. 

A home in probate can be a tricky thing. There are many legal elements to be aware of and many conditions that need to be met. Additionally, a home in probate can come with several fees. If you are in charge of a home in probate, you need to make sure you thoroughly understand the process. 

If selling a home, consider Professional Home Buyers as an option. 

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