When a person who owns a property passes away, their home goes through a legal process called probate. Probate requires that the home and its distribution to designated heirs be handled by a probate court to ensure that everything is taken care of judicially. Sometimes this process can be relatively fast while, at other times, a home might be in probate for a long time. If you have been assigned as executor of a home in probate, here are various steps you can take to manage the property.
Keep a Vacant Home Maintained
If the home is now vacant, it will be mostly your responsibility to oversee the continued maintenance of the home. This includes making sure that the home appears lived in so as to dissuade potential thieves and vandals from entering and damaging the property. Leave outdoor lights on a timer and frequently pick up any mail, newspapers, and flyers. Check on the home periodically for flooding or other issues, and maintain the lawn as needed.
Manage Current Residents
If the home still has occupants, they should be able to continue living in the home without any issues. However, you should still make periodic visits to the property to ensure that its inhabitants are maintaining the home. If there are tenants, continue managing them as their temporary landlord. If you are the one still living in the home, do what you can to continue taking care of the home until the probate process is finalized.
Sell the Unwanted Property
It is common for the executor or heirs to not want their inherited property. Perhaps it is in need of repairs, or no one has the time or energy to manage another home. If this is the case for you, you do have the option of selling your home, even while it is in probate. While the process can be a little more complicated than a normal house sale, it can be simplified by selling to a home buying company. These companies purchase homes as-is for cash.
Taking care of a property in probate can be challenging. This is especially the case if the executor is going through a period of mourning or is preoccupied with other important obligations, like arranging a funeral. For this reason, if you are the executor of a home in probate, seek help from professionals and loved ones to help you know how to best manage the property.
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