A house in probate is a house that hasn’t been legally inherited by a beneficiary at the passing of the house’s owner. Sometimes, homeowners think they’ve set up their home to be inherited, but haven’t fulfilled the necessary legal formalities to make that agreement binding. To avoid probate, a house must be passed on through a transfer-on-death deed, living trust, community property law, or joint ownership. If none of these has been completed, the house will go into probate.
So what happens when a house goes into probate? The house will be temporarily legally cared for by the probate court. If the inheritor wishes to reobtain legal ownership of the house, they will need to go to probate court and submit a petition. Then, in the following months, the inheritor will need to work with the lawyers of the probate court to regain legal authority and ownership over the house. This process can be quite complicated, time-consuming, and stressful. If you’ve inherited a probate house in a surprising turn of events, the legal processes in probate court can easily feel overwhelming.
What to Do in the Meantime
So what do you do while you’re waiting for matters to be resolved in probate court? In the meantime, it is important to care for the house. Since the legal processes of the probate court can take months (or even years) to be resolved, you need to make sure that the house is maintained so its value isn’t lost. During this time, it can be cathartic to go through the belongings in the house and organize them for any other beneficiaries or descendants. Keep the house clean and well-maintained. You might even want to keep paying for the utilities so the house looks lived-in when you’re not there. This can help to keep robbers from breaking and entering.
Sell for Cash Instead
If the legal processes of probate court sound overwhelming and you’re not in a position to care for the house continuously, it might be beneficial for you to sell the probate house for cash instead. Not many buyers will purchase a house in probate due to the legal formalities, but cash buyers will do so. In this situation, a cash buyer will be a great help to you since they’ll get you a personalized cash offer based on the value of the home. The money earned from the home sale can greatly help you and the other family members of the house’s former owner.
So, if you ever find yourself with a probate house that you’ve inherited, remember this article. Make sure that you know to go to probate court and care for the house in the meantime, or sell the house to a cash buyer instead. Selling the house for cash can help you take care of a stressful situation effectively.
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