Losing a relative is never easy, but the legal aspects that can come with dividing up their estate make the grieving process even worse. Probate is no fun to deal with, even if everyone is getting along during the process. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make it easier for everyone.

Avoid Probate

The best thing that you can do is work with your family member while they are still alive to make sure that you are able to avoid probate. There are a couple of different strategies that you can use to avoid probate, depending on what your relative wants to do with the property. Probate is triggered after death when a will is involved and the assets are over a certain amount, or if there is no will. To avoid this, you can work with your relative to create a living trust or to change the property to joint ownership. Both of these options will keep property out of probate, as the person inheriting will already have legal possession.

Talk to a Lawyer

If you are going through the process of probate, talk to a lawyer rather than trying to deal with everything on your own. This is especially important if you have been appointed the executor of the will. Even the most straightforward probate process can be a headache to deal with, and if there is no will or people are arguing over who gets what, it can get out of hand quickly. It can be helpful to even have a quick consult with an estate lawyer to make sure that you aren’t getting in over your head and that you have everything you need to get through the probate process quickly and with minimal fuss.

Sell the Property

If a home is stuck in probate and doesn’t have a specific beneficiary, it may be in your best interests–and the best interest of the estate–to sell it and use the proceeds to cover probate costs. The remaining funds could then be distributed to the beneficiaries or used to pay for funeral costs. If this is the route you are going, you don’t want to end up stuck in a lengthy sales process–nor do you want to rely on someone securing financing to make sure you get the proceeds from the sale. You can sell the home quickly to a cash home buying company and walk away with no headache and cash in hand.

Don’t let the legal process of probate for your relative’s home compound an already difficult time. There are things you can do to make it easier, even if you have been put in charge of the process. Make sure to take time for yourself as well, so that you are able to handle everything properly.

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