Selling a home during a Minnesota probate is not something that you can do carelessly.
This is a larger project which must be conducted both in the right manner and with the proper people.
Minnesota Probate law has its way of dictating how to proceed without disrupting the overarching concerns. However, before you can learn how to act during one of these sales, it’s best to understand what might be the underlying causation to the central event. These auctions aren’t always brought about on a whim. Moreover, you may find that you’re in the middle of helping someone rectify the financial past of a recently deceased family member.
Sometimes choosing not to sell the property isn’t an option during probate.
The whole estate could be up for sale because there isn’t enough money or assets to pay off all of the debts, taxes, and other bills. The aforementioned items will still need to be paid in almost every probate case dealing with debt, at least in part, but whatever is being sold is usually brought to market to either pay something off or because no one is going to inherit it. Objects that were owned by the surviving spouse might not get touched, but don’t assume that anything will be passed down to the next generation until the debts are fully paid.
There are three potential parties that may have authority to sell off property during the probate process: the court, the executor, and/or the administrator.
Assume that they plan on selling on every part of the estate that they can if the debt calls for it. You need to consult them if you want any specific parts to be kept. As far as they may be concerned, selling off one larger asset may be more efficient overall compared to selling several smaller assets. Moreover, anyone selling parts of the estate must be wise in how they sell it. Selling property at an abnormally low price may cause legal issues.
Get Home Insurance
Regardless of what kind of items are being sold, make sure that the home itself is properly insured. You don’t want one of the largest assets to be brought to ruin without some kind of way of restoring it. It’s not uncommon for home insurance policies automatically dissipate once the home owner passes on, leaving the home without coverage until a new policy is introduced. Treat the home as if it’s going to be lived in even if someone is not going to inherit it and the entire estate is going to be sold off.
One way that you could maximize the selling price of the home is keeping it in good condition. If a fire or flood destroys the home, you might only have the insurance policy to go on. Don’t assume that you can treat the court as your insurance company since they’re probably looking to the executor or administrator to care over the assets. Whatever assets are lost during the process might not be able to be replaced, and losing the home could mean that you have to find a new place to stay. You may even want to consider having the executor take out a bond just to be sure.
When not to be Executor
Any party that wants to be the executor of the estate should not be someone who also wants to purchase the home with their own cold hard cash. Things get tricky otherwise to say the least. Executors should almost always be as impartial to the situation as they can be in order to properly conduct sales. Truth be told, executors should usually want to buy as little of the property as possible. And even in the case that they were originally supposed to inherit the home, but now they have to sell it to pay off debt, they should still turn down the role as executor. The court wants the buyer and executor to be two different people.
To help you better understand, realize why the sale is being made. If you’re an eligible heir, the only reason why the house is being sold off is to help pay off debt.
Should you take advantage of the situation and decide to pay too little for the home while claiming that the sale was authorized by the executor, other items may need to be sold off to compensate for the money that would have been otherwise generated by the home’s sale. Probate sales commonly happen out of a state of need rather than a heart of greed. The house may be being sold if there aren’t any heirs, but those situations are usually attempts to put the property under new management instead of letting it fall into disrepair.
Respect the Executor
Assuming that you’re buying from an executor, be respectful to what they’re asking for. This might be their attempt at trying to satisfy hungry creditors. Time may not be on the executor’s side, as they may have outstanding paperwork to be done, beneficiaries to assist, and taxes and debts that need to be paid. That executor might be looking at your checkbook as a way to keep a family off the streets. It’s completely possible that you’re buying someone’s childhood home which is being sold to help keep the children out of debt.
Keep in mind that the home could lack various improvements, and it may take a few weeks for you to even get the chance to get the purchase approved by the court. This can be a perfect way to find a home to be fixed up or flipped, but be aware that it might not be in the best of shape. Moreover, be sure to check that it’s actually insured and check the insurance policy documents to verify that what is being said is true. You don’t want to buy an uninsured mansion only to find that it went up in flames before you could start moving inside.
Minnesota Probate Lawyers
Should you ever find yourself in a standstill or standoff during a probate sale, the first person you may want to consult is a Minnesota probate lawyer.
There’s something to be said about having a probate lawyer from the start. Rather, assuming that you’ve tried to work on things by yourself from the start, it could be very well be a good idea to see if someone else can provide advice on the sale. Seek out someone from Flanders Law Firm LLC by calling their main line at 612-424-0398.
Even if you’re not wanting the sale to go forward, they might be able to provide comfort in these trying times. Maybe they can help you find a way to keep more assets than you originally thought possible.