Estate Sale – What is the next step?
You don’t have to go through the process alone. We will help you navigate the next steps after the death of a loved one.
The Role of an Executor
Acting as an executor of an estate is a complicated task. The executor's role commences upon death of the will maker. The first matters to be dealt with by the executor include organizing the cremation or burial of the body, cancelling credit cards, attending to minor children and securing any property. The executor then needs to start the probate process. Probate is the process of seeking court validation of the appointment of the executor.
Things you will need as the Executor:
- get a copy of the current will;
- search Vital Statistics Agency to ensure it is the most recent will (your Lawyer will usually preform this task)
- provide notice of the application for probate to all the beneficiaries and anyone entitled to make a claim under the Wills Variation Act, which means to all beneficiaries plus spouses and children if any are excluded from the will. (your Lawyer will usually preform this task)
- identify all assets, value of assets and any debts; and
- apply to the Supreme Court, in most instances your lawyer will arrange to have this done.
The probate office will require payment of a probate fee prior to issuing the Grant of Letters Probate. The fee for example is approximately 1.4% of the total value of assets passing under the will. So for a $1 million dollar estate, the probate fee is approximately $14,000.
Once probate is granted comes the hard part paying all the bills, selling all the assets, distributing the estate and paying taxes.
Getting probate usually takes three to six months but the rest of the process can take an additional 12 to 18 months depending on the number of assets, their location and number of beneficiaries. And it is important to keep the beneficiaries up to date as they may not understand the work that needs to be done prior to disbursement. This is probably the best reason to get started immediately.
Should I wait for Probate?
- If the estate is waiting 3 to 6 months to get probate that is a long time to have a home sitting vacant. Carrying costs, taxes and upkeep will add up very quickly. Lots of things can happen with weather, maintenance or break-ins.
- In an active real estate market, like the spring market, the estate may get more money if listed when there are more buyers looking for a home. By waiting the house could be trying to sell during the winter or off season months.
Selling Real Estate as an Executor
The executor does have the authority to list a property prior to obtaining probate but cannot transfer title until probate is obtained. If the executor waits for probate, it will be four to six months before the property can be listed.
In many cases the executor and the deceased's family want to dispose of the real estate as soon as possible, so the executor will list the property prior to probate. Any offer received on the property needs to be made subject to probate. If a buyer is interested in the property but wants possession prior to probate there are a couple of options.
- The buyer could enter into a rental agreement until probate is obtained.
- The purchase could close "in escrow," which is essentially a closing process whereby the buyer has deposited with their lawyer or notary public funds required to complete and if the buyer has a mortgage, the executed mortgage. The buyer gives their lawyer irrevocable instructions to complete as soon as probate is completed, enabling the executor to transfer title in the Land Title office.
When you contact us, we will help advise you on the processes involved when dealing with Estate Sales. We are discrete, professional and sensitive to each unique situation. Contact us directly to discuss your unique situation or provide us with as much information below.
Estate Sale Information
Proactively marketing your Property and using creative advertising techniques, along with strategic pricing will help bring you closer to the top sale price you expect for your home. I am confident that we can sell your home within a reasonable period of time and get the most value for you.
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