How Does Probate Work For Real Estate Properties?
Once a loved one passes, based on whether they had a will or not, the probate process starts. I have specialist training in handling real estate properties sales in probate. My 27+ years as a licensed real estate agent can help guide you through this process.
The process of probating an estate of a loved one starts when they pass. A decedent's estate is the real and personal property that an individual owns upon his/her death.
In Texas you have to hire an Attorney and start the process of probating the Estate. Depending on whether there is a will or not, will determine appointment of an Executor or court appointed Representative. Public notices go out for claims against the Estate, and then barring any objections, the Probate Judge grants powers to the Executor, or Representative, of the Estate. With those powers, the Executor or Representative can legally sign a listing agreement with real estate agent, and place the home on the open market for sale. The Executor or Representative also can legally sign all the paperwork at the Title company to transfer title to a buyer. Once all the inventory of the Estate has been distributed to the heir(s), then a final accounting is filed with the Probate Court.
Let me share a bit more detail about this process of probating an Estate of a loved one. In my personal and professional life experiences, I have helped many family members weave through the probate process with as minimal stress and time involved in completing the sale and transfer of homes, land, or investment properties.
Hire a Probate Attorney and Petition the Probate Court
In Texas, the hiring of a attorney is required to petition the probate court on behalf of the Estate. The attorney will need to receive the original will or handwritten will that was signed by the descendant and two witnesses. You may also have a TRUST that was formed, in which you have found a large binder with a lot of pages, detailing the trust and it's Trustee's duties. Creating a detailed contact list of relatives that may be part of the Estate will be handy. The Attorney will need as much upfront information as possible, and the more you can provide up front, the less the Attorney will have to charge to find it for you.
Take Inventory of the Estate
You will need to identify obligations such as mortgage payments, loans, and taxes that need to be paid for the deceased. There may be a safety deposit box where the original will is stored. There may be bank accounts with monies that could transferred without prior authorization. There may be stocks or mutual funds that can be sold and turned into cash. There will be titles to cars, boats, trailers, motorcycles, or any other type of titles property. It is important to protect ALL of the Estate's inventory from unauthorized transfers and if needed, the Court may need to issue restraining orders to stop them.
Handle Ongoing Finances
Until the court officially grants powers to a named Executor, or court appointed Representative, there will be bills that must be paid to maintain the properties in the Estate. Make sure to keep good records and receipts of ALL payments so that when the Estate has the monies to reimburse, the named Executor will have the power to pay back all the outlays of monies. These receipts will be part of the final inventory to the court to close the case.
Determine The Executor of the Estate
There are many ways that a legal Executor or court appointed Representative will be chosen.
If there was NO WILL, then the general laws of Texas apply, and the probate judge will review what your attorney files when petitioning the court. Any person of good moral turpitude may be appointed, if there are no objections from the heirs. Sometimes, there may be a need for an independent person not part of the family to be appointed, like a bank trustee or a probate attorney.
If there was a will written, then generally the decedent named a person and a few others in succession, in case the 1st or 2nd choice does not want to serve, or is not able to serve. If all of the named people that the decedent named can not or will not serve, then anyone of good moral turpitude may apply and serve, if there are no objections from the heir(s).
Contact a Probate Real Estate Agent
If you have real estate in probate, it is better if you work with a local expert. I am here to help. If you have further questions on the McAllen real estate market, you can Contact Me here, give me a call at 956-358-3130, or drop me an email and I'll give you the local information needed to ensure a successful, smooth transaction. I can look after the home if you do not live close by or even in another city or state.
Locally born and raised in McAllen, Tx with a focus on customer service, I promise you'll find I have all the resources and experience, just as have my past Clients.
Read my past Client's own words on their reviews reported with Zillow right here.
Wait for Assets to be Transferred
Sometime after appointment of the court to an Executor or Representative, they should have opened a new bank account, with a new TIN (Taxpayer ID Number) from the IRS.
This is a new and separate number from the decedent own personal social security number. The IRS will use this TIN as a way to "close" a person's estate file after death and collect final taxes on the Estate. Any sales of assets should be documented and receipts saved for the final accounting to the Court and IRS.
ALL MONIES from the sale of the properties, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or any other assets goes INTO the NEW Estate checking account.
Do NOT make this common mistake and transfer the heir's part directly to them before the money goes into the designated Estate bank account first. Critical capital gains tax problems could occur to the heir(s).
Depending on the complexity of the Estate, once the Executor or court appointed Representative has the powers to sell, trade, or transfer title and ownership of all the assets, the process begins.
Generally, any outlays of money for upkeep of the properties and/or ongoing payments of utilities, insurance, etc have been totaled. The repayment of those funds from the new bank Estate bank account can pay those out to the person(s) that paid them in advance on the Estate's behalf.
Complete Final Accounting
Your attorney should be contacted when you are READY to distribute all the monies and assets, according to the will or court's orders. This is always better to do a general overview with your attorney BEFORE you distribute. I also suggest, depending on the complexity of the Estate, hiring or consulting with a CPA. There are many tax implication that are about to happen ONCE you distribute the assets to the heir(s). There is no "do overs" once you cut the checks or transfer title to assets.
Once completed, your attorney will take
Richard Womeldorf -Your Local Expert In McAllen, TX 78504
When moving to, in, or from McAllen, you will fare better if you work with a local expert. I am here to help. If you have further questions on the McAllen real estate market, you can Contact Me here, give me a call at 956-358-3130, or drop me an email and I'll give you the local information needed to ensure a successful, smooth transaction.
Locally born and raised in McAllen, Tx with a focus on customer service, I promise you'll find great success when working with Richard Womeldorf, just as have my past Clients. You can read their reviews reported on Zillow right here.
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