Home Residential Property Selling a probate property following a bereavement

Selling a probate property following a bereavement

by LLP Editor
5th Feb 22 9:40 am

Although the nation’s homesellers have enjoyed a pandemic price boom spurred by pent up demand and the removal of stamp duty on purchases, there is, of course, those who will have been forced into the market having been named an executor on the last will and testament of a loved one.

However, before they can bring the property of the deceased to market, they have to complete the probate process and property purchasing specialist, HBB Solutions, has highlighted the steps that must be taken in order to do so.

What is probate?

Probate is the judicial process used to prove, in a court of law, that a person’s last will and testament is in fact true and legal before being settled in accordance with the wishes of the deceased. So, if a person is left an asset, such as a property, probate must be completed before they can formally claim their inheritance.

When a person passes away, an executor named in the will is responsible for ensuring the affairs of the deceased are handled in the way they hoped. The executor is usually a family member or friend – but a professional executor can also be appointed. This person then needs to obtain a Grant of Probate in order to start dealing with the will and assign inherited assets. This can be a lengthy process that includes registering the death, valuing the estate, and paying any inheritance tax that is due.

Selling a house in probate

The main thing to be aware of is how long it takes to sell a house in probate. While the timeline for selling a standard home is around 6 months, it typically takes an average of 10.5 months to sell a home in probate. A big reason for this extended selling time is how long it takes to get a Grant of Probate, thus meaning it can be several months before being able to formally take ownership of any inherited assets.

However, while a home cannot actually be sold while in probate, it is possible for a property to be valued and put on the market before probate has been granted. If someone places an offer on a home that is in probate, it can be accepted but contracts cannot be exchanged until probate has been completed.

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