WAIT! THINK ABOUT PROBATE FIRST
When a parent passes away, it's part shocking, emotional, trying,and chaotic. Most of us rarely (if ever) consider a world without our parents and no matter how prepared we think we are, it usually comes as a shock. Whether it's a welcome distraction or a financial necessity, many people quickly transition to dealing with family estate affairs.
A big misconception is that we can immediately begin selling and dispersing out parent's property after death. After all, these are our parents. We're the rightful beneficiaries of the property and we should be able to do with it what we will...right? Wrong! Transferring property after death is regulated by a lengthy set of laws called Probate.
WAIT! STOP! Think about Probate before you begin any steps toward dealing with your parents's deceased property, especially selling large real estate like family homes. Why? Probate law requires a certain step-by-step process to occur before property can be sold. An executor must be assigned to the estate, people and debtors must be notified, assets and liabilities must be determined, etc. Selling a property after death is not quite as simple as you might think.
More about How to Sell Your Parent's Home After Death: WHO CAN SELL?
You might be wondering who should be in charge of the sale. Maybe you're the fiscally responsible one? Maybe you have a sibling who is a realtor and thinks he's the one for the job. Still another sibling is a remodeling contractor and thinks she has the right skill set to be in charge of the project. These types of disagreements are easily solved in the probate process by the determination of an executor.
The Executor(s) is the person put in charge of handling the estate's property and financial responsibilities. An Executor could have been named by your parent in his/her Will. If this isn't the case, an Executor will have to be appointed by a judge in Probate court.
The court appointed Executor is the person who will be responsible for the sale of your parent's home. Though, this person does not officially become the Executor until a court has officially assigned him/her. The executor of the estate will then account for all assets and liabilities of the estate. Just because one person is named the Executor does not mean that he/she can do whatever he wants with the property. For example, if a Will was left, the Executor's duty will be to following the wishes expressed through that will. This includes disbursing the final assets of the estate to the beneficiaries as described in the Will.
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SELLING YOUR PARENT'S PROPERTY IN PROBATE
It's essential to seek someone you trust to guide you through each step.
Selling your parent's home is part of this product and usually preceded by several other steps, including:
- Appointing an Executor
- Making an inventory of assets and liabilities
- Creating a Notice of Estate for creditors and other interested parties
- Determining the estate's debt and tax liability, etc.
There might be several tax implications faced when trying to sell your parent's home through the probate process. Even though you're handling the estate through Probate, taxes are still applicable. You'll need the advice of a good attorney and possibly an expert estate tax CPA or lawyer.
The amount and type of tax owed will depend on several factors, such as:
- The overall value of the estate
- The state in which the Probate is taking place
- The state in which the house is located
- Who the house is sold to (are you purchasing? a family member? stranger?)
Your San Antonio Probate attorney will help you navigate tax implications of your property dealings.
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