Learn Important Probate Essentials, including key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.
For many Estates, a home is the single largest asset. We often hear questions about why probate is necessary to transfer home. We’ll answer that and more in the post.
My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group. At our firm we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex and confusing legal process so they can make sure the estate is handled properly and their loved one’s memory is honored. Everything discussed in this post is for general information and is not legal advice – for specific information about your situation, please go here to request a complimentary consultation with one of our inheritance lawyers.
When a home is involved in an estate, most of the time probate will need to be opened in order to transfer or sell it. The reason for this is that once the owner of real estate dies, no one has the ability to sign a deed or take other actions with the real property. The way to gain that authority is by opening the Estate with the Probate Court and having an Executor or Administrator appointed. This is true even when there is a Will.
The only exception to this is when the real estate was owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship between two people.
Once an Executor or Administrator has been appointed by the Probate Court, you can begin the process to sell or transfer the home. The process is different depending on whether your goal is to sell or transfer, and depending on the situation in the Estate.
To sell the property, you either need to have expanded powers that authorize the sale or you must file a petition for leave to sell and have it approved by the Probate Court. This is a very important step and a common area where Executors and Administrators get themselves into trouble. Do not attempt to sell the home before completing those steps!
To transfer the property, you must first properly outline and pay estate creditors. That’s true even if there is a will. Then, once that is done and the estate is ready to be closed, the property can be transferred pursuant to the Will or to the heirs under Georgia law. This is another area where Executors and Administrators can easily get into trouble – make sure you have taken care of creditors before distributing the home.
For more information about this and other probate topics, please go to GPLG.com/Handbook to download a complimentary copy of our Georgia Probate Handbook. You’ll learn the key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.
You also can reach out to our office at (770) 796-4582 to set up a consultation.
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