Probate Dream Team

The Dream Team of Probate

Selling probate real estate is different than a traditional home sale.  Probate is a court-supervised legal procedure where beneficiaries legally obtain the financial and physical assets promised to them in a will and clear the debts of an estate. The whole point of probate is to prevent fraud after someone dies, so you can bet the court will keep a close eye on what’s typically an estate’s largest asset: the house.

Probate involves detailed rules on paperwork, timelines, deadlines, and requires a specific order of operations you have to follow.

Avoid these pitfalls to prevent delays and problems that could crop up along the way in the sale of your probate property.

Hire experienced professionals to represent you during the probate process

In life you get by with a little help from your friends.

In probate, you won’t survive selling a home without a lot of help from an experienced probate attorney, in addition to a real estate agent who’s an expert in your local probate rules and procedures (yes, you need both an agent and an attorney) and an organizer/downsizer. Whether you were named as the executor in the will or the court appointed you as such, you’ll need to partner up with a dream team to get this house sold.

A probate attorney gathers up the documents you need for court, drafts and files the probate petition, and speaks on your behalf to the judge presiding over the estate. He or she will also help collect any money obtained from life insurance, problem solve on income tax issues, and be your general advisor throughout this process.

Your real estate agent will usher you through the details of the real estate transaction including contracts and documentation.  A top-notch agent also acts in an advisory role and helps to manage competing interests to guarantee a successful sale.

A good real estate agent selling probate needs to conduct themselves in a manner that is sensitive and respectful to the family, and with the ultimate goal of getting the property sold in the most cot-effective say. 

A newer member of this dream team is an organizer or downsizer.  Many personal representatives or executors are faced with cleaning out a lifetime of possessions and memories from a home within an estate.  In the past, families purchased larger items with the intention of passing on those heirlooms to their children and grandchildren.  Unfortunately, our buying habits have changed over the years and kids and grandkids don’t need or want family heirlooms.

This is where an Organizer/Downsizer can help you navigate where to start and what to do with all the things.  A professional, like Property Partners 502 will help you sort items and then decide whether to sell, donate, recycle or discard items as appropriate.  While families may not want items, there are many resources for most items.

Before you agree to let someone represent you in your probate real estate sale, do your homework.

Be sure to ask your attorney candidates about how many cases they’ve handled and how long they’ve practiced probate law.

Real estate agents need to be vetted similarly.  Most agents handle probate real estate in addition to traditional transactions. 

Organizers/Downsizers are most helpful in beginning the arduous task of what to do with all the items in a home.  They or their staff should be available to assist you with labor to help sort and move items as well as numerous resources for donations, selling or discarding of items.