What To Do With A House In Probate

If your family has a house in probate, here are some steps you can take. 

Protect It From Squatters

There's a growing trend of squatters moving into vacant homes and houses in probate are a prime target. One option you have to protect the house is to have a family member move in temporarily during the probate process. A probate attorney can draft a short-term lease to cover this. Another option is to hire a house sitter. This can usually be paid for by the estate as long as the cost is reasonable.

Additionally, let trusted neighbors know what's going on so they can contact your family or the probate attorney if they notice anything unusual. The faster you're able to act, the easier it is to get squatters out.

Sell the House

Selling a house in probate is common when multiple family members need to split the value of the house or when no one wants to move into the house. All heirs to the estate have the right to sell the house at full market value to maximize their own inheritance. If someone wants the house at a discounted value, they normally have a legal responsibility to pay the other heirs.

In a hot real estate market, it's usually easy to get top dollar for a house rather quickly. In weaker markets, the family may need to come to an agreement over how quickly to sell and whether that means potentially accepting less than selling later.

Keeping the House in the Family

Keeping the house in the family when one heir didn't specifically inherit the house is usually a matter of fairly allocating all of the assets. If two heirs are dividing a $250,000 house and $250,000 in cash, one gets the house and the other gets the cash. If the house ends up being worth more than a share of the estate, the heir who is taking the house will need to come up with other funds to cover the extra value so the other heir doesn't lose out.

Handling Taxes

In some cases, you may find out that your family member wasn't paying taxes on the house and it has a large tax debt. Unlike other debts, this debt usually goes with the house instead of the estate. So whoever is receiving the house is usually responsible for covering any unpaid taxes on the house. However, check with your probate attorney as local laws may vary.

Contact a local probable lawyer to learn more. 

About Me

The Internet Makes Learning about Law Easier than Ever

Unlike many children growing up today, I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet became popular! Many years ago, I ended up in a messy legal situation that stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. It turned out that I actually did not break the law, and finding that out in court was a great relief! While I had a great lawyer who helped me during that time, reading some legal information for myself about the laws surrounding my incident could have greatly eased my worries during the stressful time. I have since dedicated myself to learning more about the law, so I never have to deal with a legal mess again. I thought I would make a blog to share some legal knowledge I have acquired along with some general legal tips. I hope I can help many people!

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