When an individual dies, the person likely leaves property behind. Frequently, a last Will and testament is also left behind, which indicates how the decedent wanted any property or assets distributed. Consequently, the last Will and testament may be subject to “probate.” Probate is the process by which the court oversees the administration of the decedent’s last Will and testament. The probate process is usually necessary, unless there are no assets in the estate or if the value of the estate is less than a certain amount of money.
When the Will is subject to probate, there may be property that must be disposed of pursuant to a sale. This sale is also known as a probate sale. Sometimes a probate sale is necessary in order for the estate to get money to pay off debts of the decedent, while in other instances; the sale may be done simply to liquidate the assets of the estate. The process involves having a personal representative appointed (such as an executor, trustee, administrator, or conservator, to name a few), settling the claims of creditors, inventorying the estate, paying any taxes due, administering the estate during probate, and then distributing the estate to the appropriate heirs or beneficiaries. For all the details, please inquire and we will send you a Probate & Trust Advisory that lists all the facts.
Trust Sales are different from probates because court approval is usually NOT necessary, but there may be a legal requirement to give notice to certain interested individuals. In most cases, a Trust Sale is very similar to a Standard Sale, but the Trustee is exempt from certain documentation/paperwork needed in a standard real estate transaction (for all the details, please inquire and we will send you a Probate & Trust Advisory that lists all the facts). The trustee must manage the trust estate solely for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The trustee must also keep the beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed of the administration. The trustee cannot profit from the trust and has a duty to take reasonable steps to control and preserve the trust property and to make it productive. Consult the trustee’s attorney for more information.