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What happens when you inherit an estate?

November 17, 2018

Estate planning is so critical in our lives today. Especially when assets and health care decisions come into play. We all know this is a tough conversation to have with our loved ones, but it truly helps in the event a loved one passes away. We should have a will in place that names the beneficiaries, executor and your health care proxy. This document should be kept in a safe place and told where to locate it. If there is not a will in place, that opens an entirely different conversation.

I speak from experience, not only from the Real Estate side but from the family dynamic. I recall at 16 years old sitting with my Aunt, along with her Estate Attorney as they discussed her will. Not only was I to be named Executor of her will, I was also to be named her health care proxy. At 16 years old, you really do not know what all of this means. Unfortunately, I learned 14 years later.

When your loved one passes, and you inherit their estate, there are many factors that play a part. How many beneficiaries are named, which assets are to be divvied, etc.… I strongly recommend consulting with an attorney that handles estates and real estate transactions.

If real property (real estate) is involved, the probate court will grant you permission to sell the home if that is your desire. All named beneficiaries will need to agree. If not, a ruling from the probate judge will have to occur.

With my aunt’s estate, I represented the sale of the home as a Realtor. I strongly encourage using a Realtor to assist you in the sale on the home. They will help guide you through the process alongside your attorney. When the home is listed it must state - “Subject To Probate Court Approval”. Closings for an estate can take a few extra weeks versus a traditional sale.

Brian A. Clarke Jr., William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, (203) 246-4771, bclarke@wpsir.com

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