Have you been appointed as an executor in an estate will and also inherited a house? As an executor, you are responsible for ensuring the estate is distributed exactly as wished by the deceased person. This involves liquidating the property, summoning the beneficiaries, notifying the creditors, and so on. These tasks can seem daunting when one is grieving over the loss of someone close and loved. The trouble of managing and selling an inherited house can add to your challenges. To seamlessly navigate this process, one should always rely on the expertise of probate lawyers from the estate planning law firm Virginia Beach.
In this blog, we have discussed some essential steps an executor should take to sell a house they have inherited through a will.
Step #1: File the will
As an executor, your first and foremost responsibility is filing the will with your state’s probate court after the demise of the estate owner.
Many states give the executor 30days time to file the will after they have possessed it. An estate doesn’t need to go through the probate process, but there is still a need to make sure the beneficiaries inherit the estate as per the will. If the deceased person has left a house in your name and you have received the letter of testamentary that states your executorship, you should seek permission from the probate court to sell the house while it is still in the probate.
Step #2 Put the House on the Market
Many executors who have inherited a house wonder whether they should list the house on the market for sale. Executors have fiduciary duties towards the late estate owner and the beneficiaries. So, they should take the necessary steps to ensure the estate value maximizes. Whether to list an inherited property on the market or not is a critical decision. One should always consult their trust and estate attorney along with an experienced real estate lawyer in this matter.
Step #3 Sign the contract
If the house had multiple residents before you inherited it, you would have to acquire a waiver stating that no one has any objection to you selling the house. Once you have this contract, you will need to submit it to the probate court. You will also have to submit the buyer’s offer for approval of the sale.
Step #4 Get sales approval and close the deal
If you have agreed on a buyer’s offer, you will have to seek approval for the sale from the probate court. Once your request has been accepted, you can close the deal by signing the executor’s deed.
Under some circumstances, the executor can simply sign the deed to sell the inherited property. Other times, the property transfer may require the signatures of the estate beneficiaries. The approval process may also depend upon the state laws and the provisions in the will.
Step #4: Receive the payment
Executors should always create an estate bank account. It’s mandatory for the executor to use the proceeds from the sale of the house to pay off the debts and liens first. The executor can transfer the rest of the money to the estate account. If you are the sole beneficiary of the property, you can transfer the remaining amount to your bank account.