Here are five important things to do when a loved one who owns a home passes away without a will.
Determine who the legal heirs are: If the deceased person did not leave a will, State law will dictate who are the legal heirs. (Surviving spouse and children are considered the legal heirs).
File for probate
If the deceased person owned a home, the property will need to go through probate. Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person. The probate court will appoint an administrator or executor to manage the estate and distribute the assets to the legal heirs.
Notify the mortgage company and insurance company:
It’s important to notify the deceased person’s mortgage company and insurance company of their passing. The mortgage company may require that the mortgage be paid off or assume the mortgage payments. The insurance company may need to be notified to ensure that the property remains insured.
Appraise the property
The home should be appraised to determine its value. The appraisal will help determine the amount of any debts owed by the estate and the value of the property that will be distributed to the legal heirs.
Determine the future of the home
Once the property has been appraised and the legal heirs have been identified, a decision will need to be made about the future of the home. The legal heirs may decide to sell the property and divide the proceeds among themselves, or they may decide to keep the property and transfer ownership to one or more of the heirs. It’s important to work with an experienced probate attorney to navigate the legal and financial complexities of the process.
If you or someone you know has lost a loved one who does not have a trust please reach out to me as I can make recommendations for an estate planning and or probate attorney who will be able to help navigate your particular situation.
If you own a home and have not yet made a trust, please do so, as it will prevent your loved ones from having to navigate the probate process. Again, I can make recommendations for an estate planning attorney.