Hess-Verdon & Associates

Can You Live in a House Going Through Probate?

What Can You Do?

Probate is one of the most challenging legal processes anyone has to deal with after the death of a loved one. It entails a ton of paperwork and numerous rules that have to be followed. One of the most common concerns is whether you can live in a house in probate.

We have prepared a comprehensive guide to some of the key things you need to consider before staying in a house going through probate. Besides, we will also provide:

  • Answers on the possibilities of selling.
  • Renting.
  • Maintaining a HOUSE IN PROBATE.

Let’s delve in!

Probate Attorney

What is a Probate Process?

It is a court-supervised process involving property distribution to beneficiaries after death. The process begins after an heir, relative, or attorney has signed a “letter of administration” with the deceased’s local court.

The property is distributed according to state laws if no one goes to court to file for probate. The property is passed to the closest relative, especially if the deceased did not have children or left behind a will.

Real Estate Under California Law

Like the majority of states in the U.S, California’s laws are quite straightforward when it comes to real estate. If a person jointly owned property with other members, one of the main questions would be asked is how they held the title.

On the other hand, if the property was solely owned by the deceased, there is a high chance of the property going through probate. Here are key things that are checked to ascertain the validity of a will:

· The will be in the deceased’s handwriting

· At least two witnesses should sign it

· It should be signed and dated by the deceased

· The will should identify the beneficiaries

Besides, although not a must, the will should also name an executor. Their primary responsibility will be to distribute the estate according to the instructions stated in the will. Additionally, they are responsible for managing and taking care of the estate until it passes to the beneficiaries.

The court would appoint an executor if they were not named in the will. During the probate process, they will be required to gather the deceased’s assets and pay outstanding debts. In cases where the deceased’s house is under a mortgage, the executor may have to sell it off to pay the debts.

Can You Live in a House During Probate Process

It is possible to live in a house during probate. As long as the beneficiary abides by the general rules of the estate, the person can stay in the house until the court’s final ruling. The executor is not responsible for rent collection. However, they can sell the house to pay rent if the mortgage is too high.

The only drawback of staying in such a house is that any inheritance received would probably be reduced to pay rent, taxes, and other additional court charges.

When Are You Not allowed to Live in an Estate Going Through Probate?

One of the instances where a person is not allowed to live in a house going through probate is if the deceased’s will require the property to be sold. Additionally, in cases where there is no will and the state requires the property to pay the outstanding bill, the heir cannot live in the house.

The beneficiary living in an estate property going through probate must ask for permission from the executor before making any repairs. Besides, if the house is mobile, they will also be required to ask for permission before transporting the property to another state.

How Maintaining a Home During Probate

The executor is responsible for maintaining and keeping the house safe. They should pay taxes and insurance premiums and continue making mortgage payments. Apart from that, it is their work to ensure that the property receives the required routine maintenance, such as cleaning of gutters and lawn mowing.

If there is a broken window or damage to the roof, they must raise money from the estate to conduct repairs. Below are some maintenance tips to put into consideration:

· Lock all the windows and doors in unoccupied houses

· Place all your lights in unoccupied houses on a timer to help make the place look occupied

· Switch all unused utilities such as air conditioners

· As the neighbors to pick up newspapers and letters in your mailbox

· Have someone check up on the property once in a while

It is imperative to note that the house should be handed over to the heir without debts; therefore, the executor should look for ways to settle the bills or sell the house. If they sell the house, part of the money will be used to pay the mortgage, and the rest will be divided equally among the heirs.

Can You Rent Out a Probate Property?

Yes, there are no laws prohibiting the resting out of a property going through probate. Below are some of the circumstances where this is possible:

Property not rented at the time the owner dies

Because the executor is responsible for paying bills during the property, they might decide the rent out the property to raise money. It can be the best and most practical situation, especially when the probate process takes months or years. Although the powers of executors vary by state, they are free to rent a property under California laws.

Previously Rented Out Property

If the property is rented out before the owner’s death, the situation will continue until the heir decides otherwise. However, the executor can change the rental status of the property if the lease expires during probate.

Get Your Answers From An Experienced Probate Lawyer!

Legal problems can come to anyone. Whether it’s your sister who loses a job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your brother who needs help with insurance, or a loved one that passed away without a will, the fact is- we all need assistance with legal issues. Contact us to talk to one of our lawyers, and let us work on ensuring that you never have to worry about matters of the law.

Meet The Team

Can You Live In A House Going Through Probate? What Can You Do?

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Client Since 1995

Can You Live In A House Going Through Probate? What Can You Do?

“Jillyn’s expertise and positive attitude, also wonderful staff. Jillyn’s the best!”

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Can You Live In A House Going Through Probate? What Can You Do?

“Jillyn’s knowledge. Always does a terrific job of explaining everything.”

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ADDRESS

Hess-Verdon & Associates, PLC
620 Newport Center Drive Suite 1400
Newport Beach, California, 92660
Office: (949) 706-7300 
Toll Free: (888) 318-4430

Copyright © 2022 Hess-Verdon, PLC. All rights reserved. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The verdicts and settlements listed on this site are intended to be representative of cases handled by Hess-Verdon & Associates, PLC. These listings are not a guarantee or prediction of the outcome of any other claims. The information contained on this website is not tax or legal advice and is not a substitute for such advice. State and federal laws change frequently, and the information in this article may not reflect your own state’s laws or the most recent changes to the law. For current tax or legal advice, please consult with an accountant or an attorney.

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620 Newport Center Drive Suite 1400
Newport Beach, California, 92660
Office: (949) 706-7300 
Toll Free: (888) 318-4430

Copyright © 2022 Hess-Verdon, PLC. All rights reserved. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The verdicts and settlements listed on this site are intended to be representative of cases handled by Hess-Verdon & Associates, PLC. These listings are not a guarantee or prediction of the outcome of any other claims. The information contained on this website is not tax or legal advice and is not a substitute for such advice. State and federal laws change frequently, and the information in this article may not reflect your own state’s laws or the most recent changes to the law. For current tax or legal advice, please consult with an accountant or an attorney.

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