Navigating The Probate Process: How To Sell An Inherited Property

Inheriting a property can be a complex and emotional experience, involving not only the loss of a loved one but also the responsibility of deciding its fate. Among the options available, selling the inherited property may be a consideration.

However, before proceeding with a sale, you must navigate the probate process. This is the legal handling of a deceased person’s estate, incorporating property as well as finances and possessions.

It involves various steps, including gathering information about the deceased’s assets and debts, appointing an executor or administrator, obtaining the grant of probate, settling outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries according to the will or intestacy laws.

The process of selling a property from an executor’s perspective

It’s important to understand that the process can take time, as much as several months or even years depending on the complexities of the deceased’s estate. The first part of selling the property, however, begins with applying for probate, a legal document that confirms your authority to manage the assets. This process can take up to 12 weeks.

Next, acquire a property valuation. This is essential for probate and future sale negotiations. Consult a solicitor to ensure there are no legal issues with the property’s ownership and resolve any outstanding matters, such as mortgages or shared ownership. After this, you must address beneficiary concerns. While only the executor has the authority to sell the property, it’s essential to communicate with beneficiaries to avoid disputes.

Once probate is granted you are free to list the property on the open market. You can use an estate agent to market the property and handle viewings or carry this out yourself if you have time available and knowledge of property sales. If you prefer to speed up the process when selling a house in probate you can approach a cash-buying company for a free quote. Often funds are available in seven days when opting for this type of sale. This is particularly helpful for those nearing the six-month deadline for inheritance tax to be paid to HMRC.

Other aspects you must consider include ensuring the property’s insurance policy is updated to reflect its status as an empty estate before you sell it. You may also want to set aside funds for elements of the sale process such as a house clearance or potential property improvements before handover.

Navigating property inheritance

For some individuals, selling might not be the first option. Holding onto inherited property carries significant sentimental value. It might be the house they grew up in or one that held special memories with their parents.

Alternatively, given the buoyancy of the rental market, retaining the property for the purpose of renting might be more favourable financially. It’s worth considering the potential income amidst robust rental prices.

However, if the goal is to generate income from the property relatively quickly, selling is the most obvious option. Yet, regardless of what you choose to do, navigating probate is essential.

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