If you’ve been chosen as the executor of a family member’s or friend’s estate, you may be somewhat relieved that they designated their home to be sold rather than leaving it to one (or more) of their heirs. This can prevent a lot of complications and conflicts. Often, people will designate that the proceeds from the sale of their home be returned to their estate, which is then divided among their beneficiaries as they have outlined in their estate plan.
First, you need to determine whether the home needs to go through probate. There are steps a person can take when developing their estate plan to avoid probate, like putting the home and other valuable assets in a living trust.
Whether you have to deal with probate or not, you still want to prioritize selling the home. If it remains unsold, you will have to deal with insurance, property taxes and possibly mortgage payments. You also will need to worry about keeping the home secured to prevent theft, vandalism and other potentially costly issues.
What is a CPRES and how can they help?
It’s wise to retain a real estate agent with experience dealing with selling homes after the owner has died. A Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES) can be helpful even if the home doesn’t have to go through probate their unique training and experience.
A CPRES or any real estate agent with experience selling homes after the owner has died can help with things like finding an estate sale company to handle the furniture and other items in the home that aren’t designated to go to beneficiaries. They can also help with deciding how much renovation and repair should be done before a home is put on the market.
There’s a lot to think about. If you have good professional assistance, including legal guidance, you can get through the estate administration process relatively smoothly and preserve the value of the estate over which you’ve been given responsibility.