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What Happens to a House in Probate

When an individual passes away, one of the things that the family will need to do is divide up their estate. An individual will be selected as executor of the estate, and handle the process of distributing the decedent’s assets. The following outcomes are what you can expect to happen to a home in this situation.

Direct Transfer from the Will

The first outcome that can happen to a house in probate is that it was mentioned in the will. It’s most common for people to leave behind a will after passing away, which stipulates how their assets will be distributed. This legal document states which heirs will inherit each asset. If the individual left behind a will, the probate courts and executor of the estate will be able to use it to determine the recipient of the home. This is the most common outcome of the probate process and usually results in the decedent’s surviving spouse or children inheriting the home. Settling the will is one of the most important parts of probate.

No Will is Left

However common the previous outcome is, there are always situations in which the decedent didn’t leave a will behind. Whether their death was sudden, or they never got the chance to draft a will up, the courts will need to decide who inherits the house. In cases like this, the executor of the estate will work with the probate courts to decide who will inherit the home. Their ultimate goal is to reach the same conclusion that the decedent would have in their will. However, it may take quite a while longer because there is no legal way of knowing how the individual wanted their estate to be distributed. Once again, the surviving spouse or children are the common recipients.

The Home is Sold

Occasionally, the executor and the family of the deceased will decide to sell the home to pay off any remaining debts that the individual may have had. However, it can be quite difficult to sell a house in probate. First, houses like this are usually quite outdated and require extensive repairs to be fully functional. Second, all of the stipulations surrounding probate have to be considered as a part of the sale. To make things easier on yourself, when you decide to sell a home in probate, consider selling to a home buying company. These companies will give you a fast cash offer on the home regardless of its condition, and allow you to sell in just a few days.

Probate is a process that you likely aren’t familiar with unless you’ve already experienced it. This part of someone’s passing isn’t often discussed, which can leave family and friends feeling unprepared when it does happen. Knowing what to expect can make things a bit easier.

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