If you are planning to someday act as an estate executor for a family member, you might ponder how you will handle various issues after your relative has died. The fate of your loved one’s house is likely of concern to you, and you probably want to know what will happen to it in probate.
As Homelight explains, different outcomes are possible depending on the estate plans your relative has set in place concerning the home.
The house avoids probate
First, your relative’s residence might not go through probate at all because it falls under a different arrangement. Another relative may own the home through joint ownership. A transfer-on-death deed could convey the house to a new owner. Another option is that a living trust owns the home, so no change in owners is necessary. Other arrangements like community property laws could apply.
The house passes to heirs
If the home goes through probate, it could end up in the hands of an heir. Your relative may have designated one or more beneficiaries to receive the house in a will. In the event your family member did not make a will, a court will have to determine who is eligible to receive the home under intestate laws.
You sell the house
It is possible no beneficiaries exist to take possession of the home, or your loved one prefers to sell off the home. If so, you as the executor will sell the home under the supervision of the probate court. This may involve you having to inspect the home and use estate funds to make home repairs or restore it to an acceptable condition.
Given the complications that can result from selling a home in probate, you and your family may prefer to make a concrete plan to pass ownership of the home so a court does not have to make decisions concerning who should have the residence.