When should an executor sell a home in probate?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2021 | Blog, Estate Administration & Probate |

As someone named to be the executor of a relative’s estate, you will have many responsibilities in closing out the estate according to your family member’s wishes. One duty may involve the fate of the home your relative lived in. You may have to sell the property if your family member decided not to pass it to an heir.

When you should sell the home, however, will be an issue. Homelight explains that you cannot sell your family member’s home just because your loved one has died. You may run afoul of the law if you do so.

Wait for judicial authority

Even though the will may list you as the executor, you still do not have the authority to announce that your relative’s home is for sale. You cannot start your duties as an executor until you go to probate court and a judge formally appoints you as the administrator of the estate. Once you have received this authority, you can begin taking action with your loved one’s estate, including putting up your relative’s property for sale.

Maintain the home until the sale

You should file for probate as quickly as possible so that, if disputes from heirs should arise, you may deal with them. A prolonged bout in probate could lengthen the time it takes to sell your relative’s home. This could be a problem if the home remains vacant for too long. Problems such as roof leaks and broken pipes may crop up. The home may also receive community fines for lack of upkeep.

Once you get the authority to oversee your loved one’s estate, make sure not to neglect the maintenance of the home. Even if a dispute over how to sell the home breaks out, you may still be able to keep the property in good enough shape that it will attract a buyer once the dispute has found resolution.

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