October 2017

The Probate Process and Selling Inherited Houses

Taxes on Inherited Property

I Just Inherited a House..what Now?

Selling Inherited Houses can be a long, drawn-out painful process if you’re unfamiliar with the steps involved in making it go smoothly.

The first step is usually Probate. This is the process by which the will of the deceased is proven as their last testament thereby allowing the transfer of legal title to estate┬áproperty to that individual’s heirs or beneficiaries.

The steps are managed by the legal system but may consist of: paying outstanding taxes or debts owed by the estate, confirming estate assets, determining the validity of the will and settling conflicts between heirs.

The official term for this course of action is testate proceedings.

Probating A Will

This process can vary depending on what state you live in. However, in every state you should begin the process by calling the probate court in the county where the death occurred. Follow the steps provided by proper court. All courts will require a death certificate before this process can begin.

Time restrictions on some of these procedures can create a challenging, perhaps stressful situation for all parties involved.

If the paperwork is submitted late there are penalties. There’s a particular order of precedence when giving the letters of administration which is as follows: the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, father or mother of the deceased, brother or sisters and all others who qualify.

Anyone interested in the estate of an individual who died without a valid will (intestate) may petition to the court.

A substitute for misplaced or damaged will may be allowed into probate if it can be proven that the same will was not cancelled, its’ implementation can be verified by the court, and its’ requirements are confirmed by two trustworthy witnesses.

7 Steps To Complete the Probate Process

  1. You’ll have to locate the will. You may find this to be a simple task or extremely difficult. The will could be in folder in the bureau, a desk drawer, security box at the bank, attorney’s file in his office, a secret wall-safe or possibly a close old friends house.
  2. If you are not sure if there is property involved you must find out if the person who died owned real property. (anything that is fixed to the ground like a house or even land). Anything else that is not real property is considered personal property.
  3. Investigate where your state probates wills. This can differ from state to state considering some states have probate courts while others don’t. If you find out there’s a probate court, pay them a visit for more info. Some states use the Circuit Court.
  4. Research thoroughly the assets of the deceased individual. Immediately make arrangements to get all mail forwarded to your home so you can find out about any mortgage loans outstanding, personal vehicle payments, retirement updates and other paperwork crucial to settling the estate.
  5. If the deceased did not specify an executor in his or her will, request the appointment of an administrator. The administrator is the individual who has legal authority to settle the estate, which included the sale of estate assets.
  6. Call the Probate Court or Circuit Court and make an appointment to file documents regarded the estate. Make sure you have all info regarding the estate assets, estimated values, payoffs, the will and death certificate.
  7. Research where to get free legal advice from the County Clerk at the courthouse, or contact a Probate Attorney for a fee.

Alerting Creditors and the Public

In some states, they require the personal representative (executor) to place a notice in the newspapers regarding the deceased. This announcement notifies the public of the probated property.

It gives the opportunity for others such as creditors who are interested in your estate to submit a claim. As a result, the nature of this real estate transaction becomes public record for anyone to research.

Taking Inventory of the Property

There must be a real and personal inventory taken of all estate property. This is required for the following reasons:

  • To obtain a proper value of the estate: Ensuring that the estate property can cover all estate debts is first and foremost in determining the amount of money leftover to be distributed to beneficiaries. If the estate doesn’t meet the monetary obligations of the creditors, an abatement statute can occur. This means that one or more beneficiaries could possibly receive a limited financial gain or none at all.
  • To guarantee that all property is accounted for: The Executor, Applicant or personal representative is responsible for gathering and doing an inventory of the estate’s assets to ensure that they are available to be dispensed at the final stages of the probate process. If any personal property is misplaced or was not in the ownership of the deceased at the time of their death, a redemption statute can occur. This statute determines if assets and/or cash will be substituted for missing property belonging to the deceased at the time of death.

8 Steps To Sell an Inherited House

  1. The initial step is to obtain the right to sell the estate property. (This can be accomplished via Probate, or outside of the courts at the Title Company using heirship affidavits. This process can be quick and easy, or time consuming and extremely difficult. Contact us so we can make sure you’ve initiated step 1 properly.
  2. Have the property deeded into your name. The Title Company will have an attorney who can help you determine when and how to best get this done. (depending on the state, land may need to be sent through probate) Once the proper approval is obtained, transfer the property title into the heir(s) name.
  3. The home must be appraised and inspected by professionals to assess its’ value before being sold.
  4. Make all necessary repairs and/or updates such as painting, upgrading the kitchen and master bath, etc.
  5. Hire a real estate representative to promote your home on the MLS, in newspapers, websites or other marketing outlets. Buyers are usually extremely visual, so by taking professional photos highlighting the inside and outside of your home you increase your chances of attracting a buyer.
  6. Once a buyer is located and an offer is presented, review it with your realtor before making any final decisions.
  7. When the final offer is accepted, the last step is to sign the contract, escrow documents, and wait for the closing date. During this time the buyer can and will usually conduct their own inspection and appraisal. The buyer or their lender may request or require that other things be fixed and/or modified prior to closing.
  8. To avoid steps 2 – 7, call us at 844-388-APEX(2739) to Sell Your House Fast for Cash. No Repairs, No Fees or Closing Costs, Now Showings and no waiting around. Click to see testimonials from Clients who’ve chosen to Sell Us Their Inherited Houses.

Taxes On Inherited Houses

If you’re Selling an Inherited House you may or may not owe taxes at all. Click Here to visit the IRS website for determining taxes owed on inherited property. State or local taxes may or may not apply, depending on your state. The inheritance tax, estate tax or capital gains taxes can all be applicable under certain conditions. Consult your CPA to determine if any of these apply to your situation.

The handling of the estate is a complex state of affairs. It’s important to have a lawyer manage this matter to ensure the property is distributed without damaging the title.

Understanding all these rules and regulations involved in this process can make inheriting property from a deceased loved one extremely overwhelming.

Selling your inherited house, although overwhelming, does not have to be difficult. The information you have just read should help you get through the probate process a little easier and hopefully with less confusion. We do advise everyone who inherits property to consult an attorney to be sure you’re taking the right path. Some paths can be more expensive and time consuming than others, so you’ll definitely want to consult your CPA or financial adviser to be sure you’re making the right decisions for you and the estate financially, and with respect to the departed.

At APEX Home Buyers, we buy inherited houses all the time. We aren’t attorneys or realtors. We’re Professional Home Buyers who have experience in dealing with the probate process and all that is required to sell an inherited house. If you’re interested in selling fast and want to avoid the stress of dealing with all of this yourself, give us a call at 844-388-APEX(2739).

We’re here to help.

-APEX Home Buyers