Inheritances can be tricky things. You’d think that it would be pretty simple: read the will, follow the will, and move on with life. Unfortunately, things aren’t always so cut and dried. Sometimes there’s a legal process called probate that has to be followed before everything is over and done with.
So what exactly is probate? Probate is the process of administering the estate of someone who has passed away. During this process, the will of the deceased is authenticated and the named executor is approved. If an executor hasn’t been named yet, that will be a part of the process. For the executor, the process also includes things like applying for a Grant of Probate, handling the inheritance tax return, paying taxes due, settling debts, and distributing property according to the dictates of the will.
What to Expect
The process of probate can be fairly lengthy. It can take months or even years to complete, depending on the details of the case. It takes even longer if there is no named executor or if there isn’t a will at all. If a house is involved, selling the house could make things simpler and go more quickly, especially if you sell it for cash.
Selling for Cash
Selling a house in probate for cash is often the fastest way to close probate. It’s a guaranteed sale and the actual sale process can go pretty quickly, often in less than a month. It’s important to keep in mind that selling a house for cash could very well end up selling for less than it would if handled by a real estate agent, especially if the house is in good condition. If it’s proving tough to sell, however, selling for cash can be an excellent option. A probate court will likely oversee the sale of the home. Their job is to work in the best interests of the deceased, which is why they don’t allow the home to be sold for less than 90% of the property’s appraised value.
If a house included in an inheritance is in probate, it’s important to have an understanding of what that means so you know what needs to be done next. A lot of what happens will depend on the circumstances surrounding the inheritance. Remember, all of it is simpler when a will is left. Do you have yours written?
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