Probate Real Estate

The will probate process is complex and many people want to know “What is the role of an executor of an estate?”

In Texas, there are a number of different kinds of estate administration, depending on how the will (if present) was written and who the beneficiaries are.
In some cases, people hire a professional executor service to do the heavy lifting. When someone dies without a Will, the estate must be shared in accordance with rules determined by the State, known as the Texas Probate Code. If there is no joint tenancy with survivorship in the deed to the property, then before a house may be sold, a clear title and heirship must be determined. While that is in process, typically a family member will need to take over the maintenance of the property, including property taxes, insurance, utilities, lawn care, cleaning out the contents of the house, and any needed repairs to preserve the value of the property. In some cases, people hire a professional executor service.

If a Will exists then it generally must be executed and probated in court before the house is sold. To do that, a probate hearing is held, wherein all of that person’s property is to be gathered, their debts paid, and the remaining assets distributed according to either the provisions of his or her Will. This is assuming that there is no dispute over the validity of the Will or distribution of assets. This generally takes about 30 days.

Property Estimated Value

Selling a house as an executor Are you considering offering the house for sale? Lord and Hearth can provide a comparative market analysis to help determine a reasonable estimate of value for the property.

Depending on the number of beneficiaries involved and the family dynamics, offering the house for sale might be a strong option. Owning property requires paying for the taxes, periodic maintenance, and insurance expenses. An out of state beneficiary may be tasked with finding a reputable property management company to conduct tenant screenings and collect rent. The fees charged can be 10-20% of the rental income, which won’t leave a lot left to cover unexpected maintenance issues.

Lord and Hearth can assist with a cash sale in the event you or your loved ones can not afford the responsibility of maintaining a property.. A special provision will need to be made in the sales contract indicating the sale is subject to the approval of the probate court. The court will also request a certified copy of the real estate appraisal. Please reach out to an experienced probate attorney for guidance on your unique situation.