When someone passes away, it is necessary to file paperwork on behalf of their estate before you begin the process of disposing of the assets that are part of their estate. This can be a difficult process depending on what all is involved in the estate as well as what preparations the deceased individual made prior to their passing. Depending on how recent the individual passed away and what your relationship to them was, this can be a very emotional time as you try to handle their estate.
There are multiple ways you may choose to handle the disposition of an estate if you are appointed executor. Perhaps the easiest way to handle an estate is by hiring an attorney that specializes in estate work to handle the paperwork for you. They will guide you through the process doing much of the work for you and making sure all paperwork is filed accurately and on time. For this service, they will charge you a fee, which could be a percentage of the value of the estate, a flat fee or an hourly rate.
Depending on the size of the estate and your financial situation, you may not want to hire an attorney. If that isn’t an option for you, you can choose to file the paperwork yourself and work through the process. There are many websites you can find information on that will help you and you can also consult with your local government office to work through the paperwork. They are frequently happy to answer questions for you and will be the ones reviewing and processing your paperwork to ensure it is completed correctly.
When someone passes away assuming they had a will in place at the time of their death, you will then need to file the necessary paperwork to open the estate, advertise the estate in a newspaper to give anyone that person was in debt to the opportunity to step forward and then close the estate once the waiting period for that time has passed. Again, all of this may seem confusing to you and that is why many people choose to hire an attorney to help with the process.
Once you have completed the estate filing and waiting periods, you will then be able to dispose of any property the deceased owned. Sometimes you may be able to list the property for sale during the waiting period as long as it doesn’t close prior to the completion of the waiting period. Make sure to ask if this is an option and don’t assume so.
Once you are ready to sell the house, you may be presented with some other unique scenarios that don’t always come up in traditional home sales. Their may be liens that need to be paid outside of the mortgage and the will may have split the proceeds of the sale to more than one person. All of that is fine and the attorney or title company that handles the closing of the property will ensure proceeds are split correctly upon closing. You may wish to find a real estate agent with experience selling estate properties. They can be helpful in many ways. If the home is completely furnished or hasn’t been well maintained in recent years, a real estate agent can recommend professionals to help make necessary repairs to the property or people to help you dispose of the contents of the home. This could be things that just need to be removed or include an auctioneer to help you sell valuable or collectible items if that is necessary.
If you haven’t been part of an estate before, you may not be familiar with experts that can help you through that process and an experienced real estate agent or attorney should be able to offer suggestions of professionals that can help you. Anytime you have questions about real estate, let us know and we will be happy to answer anything we can or refer you to the right person to help you. Don’t forget if you have a property to sell that isn’t nearby, we can also help you locate a qualified agent to assist you with that process in other areas as well.