People who receive inherited properties often do not want to keep them. It could be too much additional work. It could be an emotional obligation and bring up sad memories. You could just list the property to sell but the question remains: can you sell an inherited house before probate?
Due to the binding legal obligation paired with a will, the family member named as the executor of the will must comply with the recently passed's last wishes. If the estate includes property, the family member will often have to go through probate court.
Going through the probate process is often an unknown to the individual who inherited the property. If the individual just listed the house on the market for sale, including a realtor, the realtor will most likely bring up selling a house before probate process, which is required for a sale to be legal.
Probate laws ensure that the last wishes of the deceased are carried out as intended. Fulfilling these last wishes is why selling a house before probate
is illegal in many states.
However, AL falls into an exception state. An alternative exists, beyond the standard probate process. Muniment of Title is applicable when a will was left but no debts exist which were secured by real property. In these cases, a local county court can validate the will. Once the court approves, property titles can be then transferred to the beneficiaries.
Another alternative in AL to look into is called Affidavit of Heirship. (Disclaimer: you should always check with a local attorney to see if this is applicable to AL). Also for those who want to sell a house before probate. This alternative can be used if the property in the willed estate equates to actual property, i.e., a house or houses.
Affidavit of Heirship transfers the property titles to heir(s). Two individuals, with no gains to be made through the estate change, sign the affidavit. Upon completion, this affidavit is filed with the deed record department in the local county where the home is located.
An important follow up question: can I sell a house that is already going through the probate process?
In many states, selling a house prior to probate is not allowed. It is important to know the laws of the state in which the house is.
For example, in Texas, yes. You can sell a house prior to probate. However, specific measures must be taken for the sale to be legitimate.
First, a third-party, certified appraiser must appraise the property. A realtor specializing in probate might be able to refer a good appraiser they have worked with before.
The probate petition requires some information to be completed. Selling before probate and selling during both are included. All details in the pending sale must be included. The selling method might even be required. After completion and proper submission to the court, now one waits for court approval. A sale prior to the approval is not considered valid.
Check this out to learn more about allowing a house sale prior to probate. Specific state by state restrictions apply and must be adhered to.
If a potential buyer approaches, they must be told to wait until the court validates the probate process and grants approval for a legal sale.