Why as a beneficiary you should consider selling the probate estate home  If you are struggling to decide whether you should sell or keep the probate estate home here are eight reasons why many beneficiaries decide to sell which may help you. Each situation is different and must be decided on a case by case basis. It is typically more difficult to keep the home when there are several people involved as owners; 1. The beneficiaries already have a home and “prefer the money” 
The beneficiaries often prefer the money value of the property rather than to take possession of the property. Often times the beneficiary already has a home so the money inherited could be put to better use in other ways. I have seen beneficiaries put this money to good use by paying for their children’s education, making improvements to their own home, and taking long awaited “dream” vacation. 2. The beneficiaries can use the probate estate money to purchase a home of their own
I have seen many beneficiaries use the probate estate money to purchase a new home. Sometimes the home is in the same area as the probate home but sometimes it is in a different city or state.   3. The beneficiaries may use the money towards paying off their own debts. Often times the beneficiaries need the money to pay off their own private debts. They view the sale of the estate home as their opportunity to become “debt free.” I have seen people pay off all types of debt including their own home loans, credit card debt, back taxes and student loans with proceeds from the sale of the estate property.  4. The beneficiaries do not want to “share” the property
The will may have granted joint tenancy or tenancy in common among the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries do not want to live in nor own a property with the other beneficiaries. Often times even in the best of relationships owning a common property with other people is not a good idea and can lead to conflict among friends and family.   5. The probate estate may become a costly liability if kept  The beneficiaries would be liable for taxes on the property and repairs that would need to be made to keep up the property. There are also situations where debts to the estate must be paid off prior to the beneficiaries receiving any funds.  The real estate can be liquidated to pay off those claimsfrom part of the sale proceeds. 6. The selling of the real estate property sometimes is a stated requirement of the will If the decedent had included the sale of the property as part of the will then it is required that the executor administrator carry out those wishes and sells the property. The estate can not be settled and none of the beneficiaries would receive their funds until the real estate property is sold.   7. Management and up-keep of the probate estate would be a burden It is a time consuming and stressful task to manage and care for a property especially if it is not in a location that is close to the residence of the beneficiary owner. The taxes and expenses for upkeep must be paid while the property is vacant. It would become the responsibility of the beneficiary to “play landlord” and manage and repair the property. It could become the “job” of the beneficiary to make sure that the property is constantly rented out to good, solid tenants that pay their rent consistently. This arrangement works for some people but for many people it is more of a burden than they usually realize until they attempt it. Not everyone is cut out to be a property manager and not everyone can afford to pay a manager and the upkeep of a property. This decision must be made on a very individual basis depending on the type of property, the expenses involved and the personality of the beneficiary.     8. Some beneficiaries heal better emotionally by selling the real estate rather than living in it. Living in the home of your deceased loved one for some is no problem at all. For other people it could be emotionally difficult because of all the reminders and memories of the lost loved one. Although some people choose to live in the home, many others prefer to sell it for the closure provided in “letting go” or “moving on.” The decision about “what to do” with the real estate property in terms of selling it or keeping it is a major decision for most people, especially if they are to be the “sole owner.” It must be carefully thought out and will be dependent on the life situation and personality of each individual involved with the decision. When the property is gifted to several people the most common decision is to sell the property. This is mainly because of the potential conflicts involved in becoming business “partners” with the other beneficiaries in the ownership of the property.              

Should I make repairs to the probate estate?

Each property is unique and that determination must be made on a case by case basis. Sometimes making some minor repairs can yield much higher returns when the property is sold. Other times the repairs are expensive and or lengthy and can cost the estate wasted time and money and only increase the profits slightly or not at all.  

At Helping Hands Probate we can work with our team of contractors to professionally analyze the property and to help you in making this decision.