Sell Real Property During Probate by Court Approval
The court approval process to sell real property during probate in California is governed by the Probate Code. The estate’s representative can ask for court approval to sell real property. If the court will grants the representative authority to sell the property by issuing Letters of Testamentary with full authority, selling real property during the probate proceeding can be quite simple. On the other hand, a representative granted only “limited authority” will need subsequent court approval to sell real property. In other words, a representative granted full authority to transact on behalf of the estate can proceed with the sell of the property without the court’s direct oversight.
At minimum, the representative must provide the beneficiaries with Notice of the sale. The representative will set a list price for the real property. The Probate Referee will typically appraise the property before an agent or broker lists it on the market. Once the representative accepts an offer on the estate’s behalf, the representative must notify all beneficiaries of the terms of the proposed sale. If there are no objections, the sale of the property may proceed without a court hearing. Afterwards, a court confirmation hearing will be held in which the previous received offer may be overbid by another party. The highest bid for the real property will win. The winning bidder must provide the estate’s administrator with a cashier check.
Sell Real Property During Probate by Consent
Selling real property during probate by consent helps reduce the potential for litigation. Once all interested parties receive notice of the sale of real property, the estate’s representative can proceed with having the court confirm the sale (confirmation hearing). In other words, all heirs can sign documentation that will allow the sale to finalize without having the court involved.
What Happens When the Property Doesn’t Sell?
It can be quite costly to pay to maintain property in probate that doesn’t sell. California law requires real estate in probate to sell for an 90% of the appraised value. Under certain circumstances, the estate’s executor may need to get approval from the probate court to sell the property at a lower value.
California probate judges usually approve petitions to sell property at an appraised value less than 90%. Nevertheless, a beneficiary of the estate can protest the executor’s actions. The issue may go to trial in which both parties can present evidence regarding their positions. The court may approve the executor’s request to sell the property at a lower appraised amount or reject the request. The estate will have to continue to pay the note on the home until the property is sold.
Once a property sells, the proceeds become part of the estate. The net proceeds of sale should be deposited into the estate account. Once a Petition for Final Distribution has been approved, the proceeds will be divided among beneficiaries based on what the will provides. If there is no will, the proceeds will be distributed based on intestate succession.
Selling real property during probate in California can be a complicated process. Contact A People’s Choice for help completing and filing the legal forms you need to begin and finish the process.