Probate and the Sale of Real Estate: Understanding the Process

When a loved one, family member or friend passes, there are a great many things to attend to, and one of these is dealing with probate and any real estate assets that the deceased owned.

Unfortunately, unless directly faced with a loss, the questions of “what is probate in real estate?” and how it works, are ones that many people cannot answer. The good news is, you can find out all about what probate means in terms of real estate, as well as how to deal with probate sales in real estate correctly in our expert guide below.

What Does Real Estate in Probate Mean?

Probate is the legal process of showing that a will is valid and then adequately disseminating the assets and estate of a deceased person. Real estate probate is concerned primarily with disseminating the property assets of the person that is deceased in accordance with their will and the law.

What is Probate Sale in Real Estate?

A probate sale in real estate is the process of selling real estate that has been acquired via probate (left to the seller by the deceased). To sell this, it can be quite a complicated and lengthy process, as the seller will need to get a Grant of Probate before the sale can be completed.

Indeed, there are several stages that the seller will need to go through before the property can be transferred to the buyer:

Provide Evidence of Death

The first of these is that you will need to register the death. This is because you will need a valid death certificate to begin the probate process, along with the original will.

Get the Property Valued

The next step in the probate real estate sale process is to have the property valued. This is crucial because you need to know how much the property is worth to complete the Grant of Probate application.

The best approach to having the property valued is to get 2-3 estate agents to give you their opinion, you can then use the median average on your grant of probate application.

Review the Deeds

Once you have had the property valued, you will need to carefully check the deeds. You need to look for any restrictions that are placed on the property or the land that it is built on. One option to find this information is to consult the paper deeds that should be with the solicitor of the deceased. Alternatively, checking the Land Registry online can be faster and more convenient.

Complete Inheritance Tax Payments

After reviewing the deeds, you will need to pay inheritance tax on the property. This can be problematic because you cannot get probate until this is done but you may not have the funds to do it until the property has been sold.

The good news is that there is a Direct Payment Scheme that allows you to use money from the deceased’s estate to cover inheritance tax. Alternatively, the executor of the will can apply for an executor’s loan which will cover the inheritance tax payments while applying for probate.

Secure a Grant of Probate

Finally, once you have completed all the tasks above you will be ready to apply for a Grant of Probate. Remember you need a Grant of Probate before you can sell any probate real estate.

To apply for the Grant of Probate, you’ll need to pay the application fee and correctly fill in the form using the information you have gained from the tasks above. After you have been given a Grant of Probate, you can legally complete the sale of a property acquired via the probate process.

Choose Caversham Solicitors for All Your Probate Needs

Caversham Solicitors are here to help you during this stressful time. Our team are experienced in all aspects of Probate so will be able to help you with your real estate and probate. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to talk to us directly.