What Do I Do When My House Goes Into Probate?

Taking care of a house in probate can be stressful, especially if you are not familiar with the probate process. Here are a few details that will help you to know how to proceed if you have a house that goes into probate. Hopefully, this information can help you to be prepared so your own house will never go into probate as well.

Legal Proceedings

When a house goes into probate, its owner has passed away without naming a beneficiary to inherit the house in a legally binding way. Sometimes, homeowners think that they’ve prepared legal matters so one of their children will inherit their house, but the house will go into probate unless you have joint ownership, community property law, living trust, or transfer-on-death deed legally prepared. If you were supposed to be the inheritor of a house that has gone into probate, you can regain the legal ownership of the house by going to probate court and seeking the help of lawyers there. Unfortunately, the legal processes in probate court can often take months or years to complete.

Maintain the Home

In the meantime, make sure that you are maintaining and caring for the home in probate. If you clean and care for the home, its value most likely won’t decrease during the time that you’re settling legal matters. It can also be a helpful and cathartic process for you to go through and organize the belongings of your family member who has passed on. If you don’t live near the house and are trying to keep it safe and protected while nobody is living there, keep paying for some of the utilities, such as electricity, and make sure that light is left on. This can help the house to look like it is still being lived in and dissuade robbers from breaking into the home.

Selling is an Option

If you’re overwhelmed by the responsibilities of going to probate court and maintaining the home for the inevitable future before legal matters are settled, there is another option you might want to look into. You can sell the house instead. However, many buyers won’t purchase a house in probate. You’ll need to sell the house to a cash buyer, which will see the value in the home despite the legal entanglement that it comes with. You can get a great cash offer from a cash buyer and then use that money to help take care of your family and any debts left by your loved one who passed away.

So, if you ever happen to inherit a house that is going into probate, remember this article. When you have a house in probate, you should go through legal proceedings and maintain the home, or you can choose to sell to a cash buyer. Remember, a cash buyer will always purchase your home quickly and easily for a great price. 

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