If you own a property, that is stuck in the courts, it can feel frustrating
and overwhelming. All of your hard work handling everything should pay
off in one way or another. In our latest post, we will help you learn how to
sell a probate property in Little Rock!
The probate process can be stressful. Selling a house that may or may
not be in good condition or updated, on top of everything else can only
add to the frustration. At Arkansas Property Buyers LLC we can help you with a fair and fast
sale of your probate property in Little Rock. Keep reading to learn
more about our best tips for selling quickly.
What Is Probate?
Probate occurs usually for one of two reasons when a person dies.
When a person dies he either had a will (called testate) or did not have a
will (called intestate).
First let’s talk about the testate example, meaning the person left a will
stating what he or she wanted to be done with all their assets. When a
person dies a will is brought forth to the probate court and filed for
everyone in the public to see. The reason for this is so any person or
business that believes they are owed money from the deceased person
has notice and time to file a claim against the estate so they can collect
the money they believe to be due them.
The court hears all claims and
makes a determination who is owed anything and the money is
distributed accordingly. After all, debts are paid then the balance of
everything else is left for the heirs. At this point, the court takes into
account the deceased person’s wishes as outlined in their will. The high
majority of the time the court follows the wishes as stated in the written
will. But on occasion, an heir may contest the will by arguing to the court that the deceased person had changed their mind on something and
promised something to the heir. They should have some type of proof to
be able to win their argument. An example of that proof would be
witnesses that heard the deceased stating their change of mind. At this
point, the court rules who gets what or how much, and the assets are
The second is the intestate example. The two processes are virtually
the same except that in this example the deceased person died without
leaving a will, meaning without leaving instructions on how he or she
wanted their assets distributed between family members or possibly
friends or charities. This is where things could get messy.
In an intestate process, someone has to file the probate. The court will
appoint an Executor or Personal Representative for the estate. This
person is the person who oversees the estate during the probate
process and will be the person dealing with the probate attorney.
At this point, anybody who believes they have a claim, or inheritance, from
the estate should file a claim with the court. This includes any creditors
who believe they are owed money for any reason…
From this point, the court hears all claims and makes determinations of
the claims as to which ones are legitimate and those that are not. /from
this point the process normally follows the same process as stated
above in the testate example.
So as you can see if you have to deal with the probate process, it is best
to deal with a probate attorney as the process moves through the courts.
They will be able to provide you with advice, help you handle debt
payments, tax situations, and guide you through an often stressful
process. You will need to take an inventory of the estate’s assets and
locate all estate planning documents. You will want to notify all creditors
and pay off any outstanding debts with money from the estate. There will
also need to be income taxes filed, which include a possible inheritance
tax. Depending on the situation and if there is a will present, the process
can take 6 months to over two years.
Why Would A Probate Home Need To Be Sold?
When a person dies and there are outstanding expenses owed or
ongoing expenses such as a mortgage payment, the estate may not
have enough money in the bank or income to pay these debts. The
executor of the estate may choose or be forced to sell the property in
order to avoid foreclosure.
If the house is not required to be sold by the court, the Executor can still
decide to sell the house if the house has not been left to a particular heir
as part of the will and no heirs will dispute selling the house.
How It Works
If the property was not left to an heir, the executor of the estate will be
tasked with handling the sale of the home. In Arkansas, you do not have
to wait until the probate process is complete to sell the house. Many
people don’t understand this and it cost them a lot of money out of their
own pockets to pay the estate’s bills every month. By selling the house
early in the probate process the funds can be used out of the estate to
pay any bills the estate has, such as the money attorney bills, taxes,
credit cards, etc.
The other reason for selling the property early in the probate process is that
it stops many of the expenses in the estate. Think utility bills for the
house, lawn maintenance, real estate taxes, insurance. Also, the
possibilities of vandals breaking into an empty house and stealing items
or destroying the property.
Once the court approves the offer, there be an opportunity to have the
property inspected before the sale of the home is finalized. Once this
process is completed, escrow at the title company will be able to close
within only a couple of weeks. The proceeds of the sale are used to pay
any outstanding debts, with the remaining balances going to the heirs as
outlined in the will.
Make Sure Everyone Is Onboard
If there are multiple heirs, it is important to make sure everyone is all on
the same page. While the executor of the estate has the authority to sell the property, it is best to get everyone in agreement ahead of time. You
don’t want to have anyone contest the sale or create problems within a
family if you can avoid it.
Do you want to learn more about how to sell a probate property
in Little Rock? We buy properties every month that are in
probate and know the process well and also work with well with
the probate attorneys in Little Rock, Arkansas, and throughout
Pulaski County. We can answer any question you have about the
process. Reach out to us today for more information! 501-504-7109