You've just Inherited a Probate House in Los Angeles - Now What?

You've Just Inherited A Probate House In Los Angeles - Now What​

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Selling an inherited house in California can be daunting, especially if you need help figuring out what to do. Losing a family member, especially a parent, is heartbreaking on its own. No matter how prepared you feel, it can still be traumatic. Then you add the stress of dealing with the estate while you are still grieving. This blog can offer guidance if you find yourself in this situation.

We will walk you through the process of selling an inherited house with as little stress as possible.

The California Probate Process

Most children know whether or not they will inherit their parents’ house. However, most still need to learn what exactly that entails. There are many steps you must go through before you can take official ownership of an inherited home. Most inherited properties are passed down in one of three ways: probate, death deed, or living trust. The first step in understanding how to sell an inherited house in California is comprehending the probate process. Probate is a legal process overseen by the court system that redistributes a deceased person’s assets according to their will or, if they died without a will, through intestate succession laws.

In order to open up probate, the executor of the estate (the person named in the will or appointed by the court if there is no will) must file a petition with the court. Once probate is open, the executor is responsible for gathering all of the estate’s assets, paying any debts and taxes, and then distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. The probate process can be lengthy, taking anywhere from six months to two years. Furthermore, it can be expensive, with court, attorney, and executor’s fees adding up quickly. In order to sell an inherited house during probate, the executor must get approval from the court.

You've Just Inherited A Probate House In Los Angeles - Now What​

What Is the Status of the Estate?

The first thing you need to do is find out the estate’s status. In order to sell an inherited house, the estate must go through probate. Probate is a legal process that validates the will and ensures that debts and taxes are paid before assets are distributed to beneficiaries. If the estate is not in probate, you can sell the inherited house without going through the court system. However, if the estate is in probate, you will need to get approval from the court before selling the property.

The best way to determine the estate’s status is to contact the county clerk’s office and ask for the probate case number. Once you have the case number, you can order a copy of the probate file from the clerk’s office. The probate file will contain information on whether or not the estate is in probate and, if so, the name of the executor. If you are the executor, you should have received a Notice to Heirs and Devisees from the court when probate was opened. This notice will list the estate’s assets and give you instructions on how to proceed.

Transfer on Death Deed (TOD)

If the property was transferred to you via a transfer on death deed, also known as a TOD deed, then the process is much simpler. A TOD deed is a legal document allowing a property owner to transfer their property to someone else upon their death. The owner retains ownership of the property during their lifetime and can change the deed at any time.

In order to sell a property transferred via a TOD deed, you will need to provide proof of the TOD deed to the buyer. The deed should be recorded with the county recorder’s office. You can obtain a copy of the deed from the recorder’s office or, if you are the executor, from the probate file.

Living Trust

If the property was transferred to you via a living trust, then you do not need to go through probate in order to sell the property. A living trust is a legal document allowing a property owner to transfer their property to someone else while they are still alive. The owner can revoke the trust at any time and change the beneficiaries. In order to sell a property transferred via a living trust, you will need to provide proof of the trust to the buyer. The trust should be recorded with the county recorder’s office. You can obtain a copy of the trust from the recorder’s office or, if you are the executor, from the probate file.

Identifying the Executor

If the estate is in probate, you will need to get approval from the executor of the estate in order to sell the property. The executor is the person named in the will or appointed by the court if there is no will. The best way to find out who the executor is is to contact the county clerk’s office and ask for the probate case number. Once you have the case number, you can order a copy of the probate file from the clerk’s office. The probate file will contain information on who the executor is. If you are the executor, you should have received a Notice to Heirs and Devisees from the court when probate was opened. This notice will list the estate’s assets and provide instructions on how to proceed.

Getting Approval to Sell

If the estate is in probate, you will need to get approval from the court before selling any assets, including real estate. In order to get approval, you will need to file a petition with the court. The petition will list the estate assets and request permission to sell the property. The court will review the petition and, if everything is in order, will issue an order authorizing the sale. Once you have the order, you can proceed with selling the property. If the estate is not in probate, you will still need to get approval from the estate’s executor before selling the property. The executor has the authority to sell the property without going through probate.

In order to get approval from the executor, you will need to send them a written request. The request should list the assets of the estate and request permission to sell the property. The executor will review the request and, if everything is in order, will issue an order authorizing the sale. Once you have the order, you can proceed with selling the property.

Dealing with Sibling Disagreements

If you sell a property that your siblings jointly own, you may have some disagreements. In order to sell the property, all of the owners will need to agree to the sale. One way to deal with disagreements is to have each owner sign a quitclaim deed. A quitclaim deed transfers ownership of a property from one person to another. By signing a quitclaim deed, an owner gives up all of their rights to the property. Once all of the owners have signed quitclaim deeds, the property will be owned by whoever is listed on the deed. This person will then be able to sell the property without having to get approval from the other owners. Another way to deal with disagreements is to have a mediator help you reach an agreement. A mediator is a neutral third party who will help you and your siblings communicate and come to an agreement. If you and your siblings cannot agree on a sale price, you can have the property appraised. An appraisal is an opinion of value from a qualified professional. Once you have the appraisal, you can use it to help you negotiate a sale price. If you and your siblings cannot agree on a sale price, you can put the property up for auction.

Probate Auction

An auction is a public sale where interested buyers bid on the property. The highest bidder will then become the new owner of the property. Auctions can be an excellent way to sell a property jointly owned by siblings who cannot agree on a sale price. However, auctions can also be stressful and time-consuming. If you decide to auction off the property, ensure you understand the process and prepare yourself for the potential stress. Selling a property that siblings jointly own can take time and effort. However, it is possible to sell the property if you can agree on a sale price.

One of the best ways to ensure a smooth and stressless probate experience is to hire a probate expert. If you have inherited a property and are unsure what to do, call or visit the website of Josh V Realty at (213)465-0936 or www.joshvrealty.com. With over 75 years of combined experience, we will be happy to help guide you through this confusing and trying time in your life process.