Selling Inherited Real Estate
The loss of a loved one is always a heartbreaking time and often brings about the question of what do we do with real estate that was owned by our family member. The Burks Team specializes in helping families through this difficult time with providing guidance and solutions that fit your unique situation. There are several different methods of clearing up as estate as well as quite a few misconceptions around selling an estate.
- I automatically inherit the property of my spouse or parent. This might be legally true but there is a process that must take place to prove inheritance.
- I have a will that states I get the property so I don't need to do anything.
The truth is that in almost every situation a legal process will need to happen to clear up the title to satisfy the buyer and the title company. There are a few methods that can help clear this up:
Heirship Affidavits- There are many situations where this is the easiest and most affordable solution. The Burks Team can work with you and the title company to get these done for you. These are recommended for people who have:
- A simple family history with one spouse and children with that spouse only.
- Estates where the property will follow the Texas order of inheritance.
- Some time has passed since the date of death.
Some issues with heirship affidavits is that property must follow the Texas laws and cannot be left to anyone outside of those parameters. Often using these can require multiple parties to have to join in the closing documents. Every title company has different rules and they do not like closing when the death has been recent.
Probated Will- If heirship affidavits are not possible for any reason then using a will is the best option. Having a will in your possession does not mean that a title company can use the will to transfer property. The will must go through a process called probate which is a hearing before a judge that determines the will to be valid and makes the will official. These are a good option for:
- Larger more complex estates that have multiple assets and debts.
- If someone does not plan to follow the order of inheritance in Texas.
- If there are minor children who are set in inherit the real estate.
The major downside of going through the process of probate is the cost. It can often cost thousands of dollars to hire an attorney to go through the process. Another major issue is timeframe. Depending on how complicated the estate is it can take weeks or even months to get thing finalized. If the estate has a mortgage payment bills can pile up in a hurry while you wait to go before a judge.