Understanding probate is a life skill for managing family affairs. While no one likes to think about someone passing, learning about probate in advance is better than trying to absorb it at a difficult time. Here are probate basics everyone should know:

A will isn’t a substitute for probate. Probate is the legal term for gathering the assets of a deceased person, paying their debts, and distributing the balance to the beneficiaries. It is a court-supervised process.

Probate takes time. From start to finish, the probate process can take months or years. There are 3 phases to probate:

  1. Appointment of Probate. The probate case is filed with the court, and the will of the deceased is admitted to probate. The court appoints an Executor to represent the estate.
  2. Administration of Probate. The Executor searches for the assets of the deceased and confirms their debts. Asset values will be determined and the legitimacy of claims against the estate will be verified. The sale of some or all assets, including real estate, may occur in order to resolve all claims and debts against the estate.
  3. Closing of Probate. The Executor presents an accounting of assets sold, debts paid, and the assets remaining, to the court. Once the court and beneficiaries have approved the settlement of the estate, any remaining net assets are distributed to the beneficiaries according to the will. In the absence of a will, remaining assets are distributed according to State law.

Probate real estate sales require special skill and experience. When the assets of the deceased include real estate, obtaining a real estate broker with expertise in probate sales and court proceedings is an absolute must. Let us help you when you need residential or commercial property sold to settle an estate. We will obtain the highest possible price from the best-qualified buyer, and help make the entire process seamless for all concerned.

This article is intended as a general guideline for petitioners and personal representatives of the estate; but, the truth is, that each of these stages requires a good amount of diligence and expertise. It can be confusing but we can help you.  We get what you are going through.  Call us today for a free discussion on the status of your case.

Maher Probate Realty, Maher Commercial Realty, California Real Property, Inc. or any of their affiliates are not practicing law and do not have any fiduciary duties to the persons reading this article. Said entities are only offering real estate brokerage services. Readers of this article are hereby encouraged to obtain their own independent legal counsel.