Hi, I’m Chris Lawrence, the owner of Helping Homes REI, LLC. And today we’re going to be talking about the probate real estate process. I am not a lawyer or CPA, so it will be best to seek out professional advice and guidance. I will be sharing information that I’ve learned from personally purchasing property that was in the probate process in Rochester, New York. Probate real estate is the process of proving a will through the court system when someone passes away. This is a legal way of administering property and assets of a deceased person. The probate process is court-supervised and probate rules can vary from state to state. So again, it would be best to hire a probate attorney or a state attorney, depending on what your state calls them to walk you through that process. So step one, you want to find and begin working with a probate attorney who will help you and represent you. As you go through the probate process.
They will be your greatest asset for navigating through this process. Your attorney will usually listen to your situation as every probate situation is a little bit different. Once they understand your situation, the attorney will then start to file some documents with the court, problem-solve about income tax issues, help collect any money from life insurance policies, and more along those same lines of different nuances to each individual probate. Your attorney will be someone that you will … you can lean on and trust throughout the whole process. Step two, you’re going to want … you’re going to file a petition to start the probate process. You will then need to file a petition with the local court office to get everything moving in the right direction and petition the court to appoint an executive for the estate. Heirs and beneficiaries need to be notified that the process is being started.
Usually, local newspapers are noticed. So they are published and, given a chance for any unknown creditors or heirs to come forward. Step three, inventory and notices. The appointed executor or administrator needs to get an inventory of all the items in the deceased person’s estate and assign a value to them. These inventory items could be estate planning documents, such as a will, funeral arrangements, things of that nature. Inventory of the assets, such as stocks, bonds, cars, bank statements, and whatever other assets the deceased has. And also take inventory of any debt that they have. Again, this will vary from state to state, and it’s best to check in with your probate attorney. Step four, you’re going to want to pay the expenses. So, once the inventory is taken of the estate, you will need to notify those, who the deceased owes money to.
This is known as notifying known creditors. Once these legitimate creditors are identified, you will pay their claims with the money from the estate. Often, sometimes it might be necessary to sell assets or liquidate accounts in order to pay off these debts. Step five, distribution and transfer. At this point, the administrator or executor can distribute the assets to the heirs. The court may also be involved in helping approve transfers of titles and just helping with any little nuances that go along with that. Probate has its pros and cons and oftentimes it can take months to settle. However, with a regularly updated will and a basic estate, the process doesn’t have to be a difficult or expensive time. Please feel free to reach out to me as we buy houses in Rochester that are in probate and can offer some great advice and even share local Rochester probate attorneys and guide you in the best way possible. Hope this helps. Thanks.