As a realtor who specializes in Probate sales I have recently been involved with a number of families were trying to sell homes they thought they inherited or had title to, but wound up in Probate instead. Since the Probate courts are backed up, this can cause delays, heartache, and tension for the families and were problems that probably could have been avoided.
I want to say firmly, I am not a lawyer. I am a Realtor who specializes in selling homes in Probate and this is not legal advice. If you are going to be involved in intra family title changes PLEASE get the advice of a lawyer. This is complicated stuff.
Mom and Daughter 1 own a home together. Both are on title as Joint Tenants and own it equally. They need cash so Daughter 1 gives her share to Mom and Mom gets reverse morgage.
Mom does not make a will leaving 1/2 the house to Daughter 1 and 1/2 the house to each of the 4 daughters including daughter 1. She plans on doing it, but never gets around to it.
Mom dies unexpectantly, with no will, no trust, and only a verbal agreeement with Daughter 1.
Reverse mortgage company tells Daughter 1 she needs to sell the house or pay back the reverse mortgage. Daughter 1 can not sell the house or do anything without Probate Court permission because she does not own the house any more and there is no will or trust.
Daughter 1 calls me and give her a referral to a Probate lawyer who will get paid through the sale of the house since there is no cash in the estate.
Daughter one will ask the court to appoint her Admistrator of the estate then ask the other 3 sisters to give up the half of the equity that was supposed to go to Daughter 1.
Hopefully the Probate Court will agree to all of this. It is not guarenteed.
As you can see, these are complicated issue, made more complicated by actions taken by owners and family members before the owners died.
The moral, just because you think you have the right to sell a house in probate, that does not mean you do. Be sure and consult a Probate Attorney and a Realtor who understand Probate Sales before you proceed.
If you have any questions about selling a home in Probate or need a Probate Realtor in Half Moon Bay or anywhere else in the Bay area please feel free to contact me.
Keller Williams Realty