WILLS AND TRUSTS

The Property Transfer Process After a Will

After someone passes away, the property transfer may seem like a complicated process. However, assuming a will is involved, the situation ends up going much smoother.

The individual the deceased leaves the property to in the will is known as the beneficiary. Before the beneficiary can legally receive the property and become the legal owner, the property must first go through probate court.

What Is Probate Court?

Probate court is a process in which any unpaid debts of the deceased are paid off, accounts are closed, and any remaining assets are distributed according to the wishes outlined in the will. Assuming there are no objections during probate court, the results are typically the same.

Cash assets and real estate will be used to pay off any remaining debt the deceased left behind. After any remaining debts are satisfied, additional cash and real estate will then be transferred to the beneficiary named in the will.

If all debts aren’t satisfied by any remaining cash, the property must be used to close out any open accounts. In the end, the executor of the will ends up making these important decisions.

In simpler terms, the executor is the person in charge of the execution of the will and dividing the assets left to any beneficiaries. If the decision is made that the property must be used to satisfy debts, normally, the executor will be in charge of selling the home and using the proceeds to handle accounts owed.

What Happens if the Property Is Sold?

There are certain cases where the funds secured by the sale of the property will be greater than the debts owed by the deceased. When this happens, the beneficiaries will instead receive the remaining funds left over from the property sale instead of the property itself.

Does the Deed Have to Change Names?

Regardless of the situation, the property cannot remain in the name of the deceased. If the beneficiary ends up with the property, they must file for a new deed and present a copy of the will and death certificate.

In cases where no will exists, the state’s succession law will take effect, and an entirely new set of steps are required to settle the matter.

The smoothest transition possible is having a clear beneficiary named in the will. This is why it’s important for anyone that owns property or assets to put a will together, regardless of health, age, or life expectancy. Contact the experienced attorneys at Bell & Shaw Law, LLC today to discuss your situation more fully.

Bell & Shah

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