November 1, 2021By Alex Romanov
The answer to the often-asked question “Can a house be sold while it is in probate in?” is “Yes.”
But you must adhere carefully to your state’s pertinent rules and regulations. The probate court will monitor every step and all aspects of the sale, and if you’re the executor, you, too, must monitor and approve all the terms of the sale. It can be a complex process, but understanding it will make things a little smoother.
If the decedent’s will designated a specific person as the executor and that person is willing to act in that capacity, then he or she is officially appointed as the executor. If on the other hand, no one has been designated as executor in the will, then the court and/or other relatives will appoint a near relative to act as administrator.
This is the step where the answer to “Can a house be sold while it is in probate?” begins to become a reality.
An interested buyer makes an offer, an offer which you can accept or reject. If you do accept it, the offer is then subject to court confirmation. You must submit the offer through your probate attorney to the court for confirmation. If everyone is in agreement, then a date is set for the sale to be finalized in court.
When the offer on the house in probate has been accepted and confirmed by the court, a Notice of Proposed Action must be mailed to all the heirs. This document states all the terms and conditions of the proposed sale. Heirs then have 15 days to review the notice and raise objections if they have any. If none of the heirs has any objections, the sale can go forward without a court hearing.
Now, here’s where it gets a little complicated. Before the court confirms and approves the original buyer’s offer, the judge will ask those present in the courtroom if any of them would like to bid on the property. If no one does, then the sale proceeds in the standard fashion mentioned above.
If, however, there is an overbid. Upon court confirmation and approval, a contract can then be signed. But it is a specialized kind of sale contract because it cannot have any contingencies, and escrow closes soon after the hearing, usually within 15 days.
As you can see, there are some complicated rules for selling a house while in probate. It is advised to consider contacting an attorney for more specific help.
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