What exactly is probate? It is, in essence, the selling of a property where the owner has passed away and the sale is handled through an estate. The Administrator or Executor works on behalf of the deceased with either full or limited authority, and the will is an important aspect of the probate process. A probate sale is not significantly affected by the presence or absence of a will; nonetheless, the timeline can vary widely depending on the circumstances. We’ll take a closer look at it now.
There is a Will
Both escrow officials and buyers will agree that having a will is significantly preferable. Under the Independent Testamentary Act, a will aids in the establishment of clear deadlines and functions. The court will appoint or designate an Executor or Administrator with full authority over the estate, who is usually a close relative or someone who was familiar with the deceased’s desires. Once appointed, the Executor or Administrator is responsible for deciding the property’s fate.
In terms of timescales, the procedure roughly resembles a typical transaction. This is because the Executor or Administrator has complete control over the sale. The “Decree of Distribution of Letters of Testamentary,” which is required by title and will be required to finalize the transaction, is a supplementary document. Essentially, the court issues this formal document, which aids in the transfer of property from the Executor or Administrator of the estate to the future buyer (s). We will also ask for a copy of this document to evaluate in order to avoid any complications with the transaction later on.
There Isn’t a Will
Despite the fact that this circumstance is more complicated, it is not unusual. When a person dies without leaving a will, any property transaction must go via the court’s probate process. The court will appoint and approve an Executor or Administrator to the Deceased’s Estate once more, but this time they will be an independent court representative. Another step in the procedure is to obtain an Order Confirming Sale, which states that the court has authorized the sale of the property and that the listing price is fair market value. To complete the transaction, you’ll need a certified copy of this document.
In the absence of a will, the chronology can be drastically different. Court probate, for example, might take anywhere from 60 days to more than six months, which can be difficult to manage from an escrow standpoint. Real estate agents who offer probate sale properties must adequately educate their consumers and set reasonable expectations about how long the process may take. Escrow extensions are typical in probate purchases, and they can sometimes be a barrier that a buyer is unwilling to overcome.
Fortunately, during a probate sale, an experienced escrow officer will be invaluable. Those who are aware of the complexities that effect the timetable and transfer of property can assist purchasers in staying on track and closing on these types of properties successfully. A probate sale comes with a lot of paperwork, so in addition to dealing with a family attorney or estate planner for specific legal problems, make sure to consult your escrow officer as well if you find yourself in the middle of one. Contact us for more information.