If a loved one has passed away and he or she owned a property, that property will go into probate. Probate is the process that a court has to go through in order to verify the living will of a deceased person. In addition, the court then makes any final decisions in regard to the possessions and assets of the deceased individual—a process that can be more complicated than people think, even if the person had a will.
In most cases, the court will assign someone (usually the designated heir) to be the executor. If you have been designated to be the executor, you will most likely be in charge of taking care of the deceased person’s property during probate. Here are some recommendations when it comes to taking care of a home in probate.
Pick Up Mail and Flyers
If no one is still residing in the deceased person’s home, it will be essential that you make the home appear lived in. If mail starts piling up in the mailbox—or flyers and newspapers start littering the front yard—the home will become an easy target for thieves. Therefore, be sure that someone frequently picks up the mail or newspapers and discards any flyers.
Continue Property Maintenance
This is an important task, even if there are people still living on the property. Since the original owner is now deceased, it will be your job to make sure the home’s occupants are taking care of the property or to manage any renters. Ensure that the home is getting its yearly inspections and that any necessary maintenance is taken care of. Or, if the property is vacant, make sure to visit the home frequently to check for flooding or other problems.
Sell the Property
If the thought of having to take care of someone else’s property sounds too overwhelming, you can also sell the home, even during probate. Yes, the process is usually a bit more complicated, but it can be done. Many home buying companies are willing to purchase homes in probate for cash so that their clients can focus on more important things during their time of mourning.
Being the executor and, therefore, having to take care of a property in probate can be a stressful experience. It comes with a lot of responsibility. But you don’t have to do it alone. Enlist help from other family members, neighbors, or professionals to help make the probate process less taxing.
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