A loved one passing away is one of the most stressful and emotionally difficult situations that someone can deal with in life. Unfortunately, the closer you are to that loved one the more difficulty dealing with their passing usually is. Not only because of the emotional stress but because of the responsibilities that comes with it.
When a close loved one (such as a parent or both parents) passes away, usually the closest ones to that person (such as their children) are left dealing with the pain of their passing as well as what to do with all of their belongings. Most people have a last will and testament that they leave to distribute their belongings legally.
When there is no will, the deceased’s belongings will pass down to their closest relatives and can become messy quickly. You may need to deal with the probate process. This is simply the process of having the estate as well as any other property legally distributed between the deceased’s closest living heirs, as well as paying any taxes or unpaid debt.
Any debt will be determined and the debt will be paid prior to the heirs receiving any money from the sale of any property during the probate process. The executor (person named in the will or determined by the probate court) is responsible for maintaining the house while going through this process and while trying to sell the home.
They will be legally responsible for all financials including distributing the property amongst the heirs as well as paying bills, debts, and any taxes involved. Being the executor comes with a great deal of responsibility and can be one of the hardest parts of the process.
Ownership of the Decedent’s Estate
When it comes to distributing the property, ownership titles can become a really important legal aspect. Having an attorney is always a good idea to help with the legal process especially if you are unsure of the standard process of transferring ownership. There are 3 main types of property ownership titles that will decide the outcome of the deceased’s estate that your attorney can help you with.
Sole ownership is the first and main title. This is any property that is owned by just one person. This means that when the owner passes away the property doesn’t automatically transfer to anyone else unless it has been specified (such as in a last will and testament) before the person’s death. If an heir to the property has not been determined then the property will be dealt with by the state and the state will ultimately decide what to do with it.
Joint ownership is exactly what it sounds like. This title is used when more than one person owns the property. Anyone else who has legal ownership of the property will remain the owner(s) that is if they have rights of survivorship. When multiple people own a property that includes rights of survivorship when one of the owners dies the additional owner who is still alive gains the others share of the property. If there are more than two parties that own the property, then the two remaining owners would split the deceased’s share of the property and so on and so forth.
There is another type of ownership which is a little different than the rest called title by contract. This type of property has the ability to be transferred to beneficiaries when the owner passes away.
Selling or Keeping the Estate and Other Property
One of the most difficult parts of dealing with a loved ones passing is going through their belongings and all of the properties. You will need to decide what it is that you want to do with their estate and all of their belongings.
Do you keep the property for yourself or do you sell it?
You might already know the answer to this question but it becomes more difficult if it was a home that was significant to your life. Maybe you grew up in the house. That makes it that much more difficult to let it go.
However, being able to part with these things and make the decision to keep the home or to sell it is all apart of the grieving process. If you do decide you want to sell the home you will need the permission of the executor first.
Deciding to Sell a Loved One’s Property
The process of dealing with a loved one’s death is one of the most difficult situations that a person can go through in life. Grieving is met with one difficult choice after another but some things can be made easy. Finding someone to appraise your loved one’s estate when getting ready to sell can be a hard moment to deal with.
Knowing and understanding how hard this is for our clients is one of our specialties. We will do everything in our power to make the appraisal process as quick and painless as possible. We understand what you’re going through. At RE Appraisals Associates we are here to help you through this process. So give us a call today at 941-743-3700.