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A Home in Probate: What it Means and What to Do

While most people wish they could just silently mourn when a loved one passes away, there is—unfortunately—much to think about and do in order to take care of any assets and possessions of that loved one. In most cases, when a person passes, their assets are put in a state called “probate.” Continue reading to learn what probate is and what happens to a home when it goes into probate.

What is Probate?

As mentioned, probate is commonly the state of a deceased person’s assets right after their death. During probate, a probate court is appointed to interpret the deceased person’s will (including its validity), as well as consider leftover debts and the value of the property. Depending on the worth of the home and the validity (as well as simplicity) of the will, the deceased person’s home may be given to living heirs through a more simplified legal process. If there are complications, however, the probate process may require time and lengthy negotiations.

What Happens to a House When it Goes Into Probate?

When a home goes into probate, there is usually a person appointed to be the executor. The person designated to be the executor is usually decided upon by the deceased person’s will but, if not, the probate court selects someone to fulfill the position of executor. One of the executor’s jobs is to oversee the continued management and maintenance of the home. The executor may allow previous occupants to continue living in or renting the home. Or, they may even decide to sell the home with the help of a probate specialist.

How Does One Maintain a House in Probate?

If you have been charged to maintain a house in probate, you may be wondering what to do, especially if you don’t personally live in the home. If the home is unoccupied, you will want to take certain steps to ensure that the home remains secure, safe, and well-maintained. This is especially important since criminals tend to target the homes of deceased persons. Put timers on the home’s lights so that they turn on during certain times to make it appear that someone is still living in the home. Ask someone to help you pick up flyers left on the door and check up on the house frequently.

It is always difficult to lose someone, especially if their death was unexpected or untimely. So, if you have been left in charge of a property in probate, rest assured that you don’t have to take care of the home and all the legal processes alone. Consider reaching out to professionals, family members, and friends to help advise and support you along the way.

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