The Law Behind Selling a Probate Property
A probate property is an inherited property - something that has been left in a will when someone has died. As such, there are different laws to abide by if you want to sell a property of this kind. Most people sell a probate property because they can't afford to keep it themselves and would rather use the money from the sale to pay off the deceased's debts. This process can be quite stressful, tricky and upsetting, so here are some things to keep in mind.
Grant of Probate
If you have been named the executor of the will, you will need to apply for a Grant of Probate before you can go about selling the house and transferring the deeds in accordance with the terms set out in the will. Probate is used to check the validity of the will and the death certificate, and it gives you permission to sort out the deceased's assets. You cannot sell a probate property before you have received the Grant of Probate.
You should also be aware that, if there is no will or the executor is unable to act, then you will need to apply for letters of administration before you can put the property up for sale.
If the deceased left a partner, then the partner would become the sole owner of the full house. This process happens automatically, and no Grant of Probate is required. The partner will be responsible for handling debts such as the mortgage, but they can also go ahead and sell the property if they need to.
Tenancy in common
Sometimes, partners may own unequal percentages of a house. The percentages could be based on how much of the deposit each owner paid, and a document should outline these percentages. When one partner dies, the surviving partner keeps their share of the home, but they do not automatically get the deceased's share. The deceased may leave their half to children or grandchildren for example, but the surviving partner has the right to stay in the property.
If the deceased was the only owner of their property, then it should be stipulated in their will who it will be passed to. It will then be up to the executor of the will to ensure this wish is met. However, if there is no will, then the rules of intestacy will decide who inherits it.
Selling the property
You can use an estate agent to carry out this process for you, but you should be aware that it could take days, weeks or even months for the property to be sold. When you combine this with the amount of time it takes to get your Grant of probate or letters of administration applications accepted, you could be faced with having to put up with the financial burden or emotional stress of dealing with a probate property for longer than is necessary.
However, if you come to us, we will act quickly to take the property off your hands and give you a fair and guaranteed cash offer. What's more, we can even cover your legal fees and agent's fees - meaning you'll have more money to enjoy in the future.