Can you sell the house in probate?

 In Learning Center

sell the houseI often get asked about the ability to sell the house in probate. In an estate administration, a house can be an extra burden. There are expenses that come right away. The executor or administrator of an estate immediately has expense like utilities, real estate taxes, and insurance. There are also chores. The family not only has to keep up their own house; they must keep up mom and dad’s house as well.

If nobody in the family plans to purchase the house, everyone is ready to sell. The question then becomes, when can the house be sold? Like every legal question, the answer depends. If there is a will, and the executor has a power to sell in that will, the home can usually be sold fairly early in the probate administration. This is true as long as the will does not specifically leave to house to a specific person or the will does not prevent the executor from selling the house.  You will also want to work with the probate attorney to make sure that you’re beyond the point that someone could contest the will. These factors are unique to each family, so you will want to work with your probate attorney to make sure there won’t be issues when you sell the house.

If there is no will, the process to sell the house is different and it generally can’t happen until later in the estate administration. The reason that an executor can sell a little bit earlier is because that power was given to them in a will. When there is no will, the beneficiaries generally must all consent to sell the house. This is usually done after the estate inventory is filed. While it can be filed earlier, the estate inventory is not due until three months after an executor or administrator is appointed to administer an estate.

Since the question of when can you sell the house is fact specific, it is important to work with a probate attorney to determine the best timing. If you’re ready to get started, contact me today.

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