Losing a loved one is hard as it is. Having to handle their affairs can make it even more difficult to grieve. One of the major assets a personal representative may need to handle is real estate; particularly the primary home. Assuming you have already reviewed the living trust and know you will need to sell the property in order to settle the estate; here are five things you should do:
- Check the title of the property – You want to make sure the property is still in the trust. At times, if there was a transaction having to do with title (such as a refinance), the property might not be put back into the trust. It is important to do this as you will need to file paperwork to get the property back into the trust prior to selling.
- Contact the mortgage company – Inform them the owner has passed away and you are the designated personal representative of the estate. Find out if the account is in good standing, how to go about making the mortgage payments and eventually what is the payoff amount. In addition to the mortgage company, you will also need to contact the utility companies.
- Sort through the personal property – This might be a difficult task since you are still grieving but you can seek help from friends and family or hire a company who can help with this. You can also have an estate sale or donate to charity.
- Have the house professionally cleaned – Hire someone to do a deep cleaning of the property as well as someone who will help throw away furniture or any other items you will not keep.
- Hire a real estate agent who is a probate and trust specialist – It is important that you work with a professional who is experienced in the process and can guide you through it. A specialized real estate agent can be a great source to find estate lawyers, accountants, contractors, handymen, auctioneers, professional cleaners, etc. who you might need to hire in the process.
Featured Photo by Ridham Parikh
Content Photo by Melinda Gimpel