What Happens to the House if the Homeowner Dies?

What Happens to the House if the Homeowner Dies?


Losing a loved one is always hard for relatives. You have to deal with the trauma while at the same time, you have to deal with the intricacies of life. If the estate of the deceased person includes a house, the question is, what happens to the property. There are two options in this regard.

The presence of a valid “will” makes things easier. The “will” appoints an executor who will administer the affairs of the estate. It’s called dying intestate if your loved one passes away without writing a will. In that case, the state laws define the solution. Local inheritance laws describe who gets what and what will happen to the house.

Simplified Real Estate Procedure

You can avoid the probate process if the value of the estate is less than $50k after paying the taxes, and debts. There is a one-month waiting period, but beneficiaries can receive their share by signing a simple affidavit.

Right of Survivorship

Let’s suppose two people own a house together. Under the right of survivorship, if one owner dies, the co-owner gets the ownership of the property. That law is valid for anyone who is the co-owner of the house.

“Community property” describes the relationship between two spouses, where both spouses own the property. In case of death, the other spouse can keep the home unless specified otherwise. New Mexico is community property, and its laws are different from other states of the US. Under regulations, the surviving spouse is entitled to the 100% share of the property if the deceased soul didn’t have any other heirs (children from a previous marriage) or he didn’t specify otherwise. Each person owns his share. The individual can determine how they want their assets to be distributed upon death. If not specified, the surviving spouse gets the house but, details are involved.

Joint ownership specifies the ownership of a property in a specified ratio. For example, two people can purchase a house with a 60-40 ratio. In that case, the individual owns his share only, and both people can choose to leave the estate to their respective relatives/beneficiaries.

Sole Owner of the Property

The sole heir of the house can keep it. The property will still have to go through the probate process, but the process becomes simple. It is the same case with insurance schemes, savings account, and 401ks with named beneficiaries. These types of assets are transferred to their respective heirs upon the death of the owner. Court involvement is not required. However, real estate is different.

If multiple people are left with the same house, the chances are that you’ll need to sell the house so that everyone can get their fair share.

Selling Real Estate in Probate

The probate process is simple if you have a valid “will.” Generally, the process takes less than two years. It can take more time if the will is contested.

The court will appoint an executor who will look over the estate. The executor is responsible for smooth communication, payment of debts, and taxes. He streamlines the procedure so that all heirs can receive their inheritance.

The probate process is in place to ensure that all taxes and debts are paid before you settle the estate. It is mandatory to pay the inheritance and estate tax as outlined by law. The rules can vary depending on where the property is located.

It is the job of the executor to appraise the house. Selling real estate in probate is a challenge, because most of the time, the home is not in a top-notch condition. It is emotionally exhaustive for the relatives to clean & arrange the living space of the departed soul. Without proper maintenance, you cannot sell the house in the retail market. Furthermore, you’ll need the help of a home appraiser, real estate agent, and an attorney to complete the task. The process will cost you money because probate sales happen in an auction, monitored by the court. The prospective buyers must bring a 10% deposit. Because of such restrictions, it is another challenge to find a buyer for inherited property.

If you have a house in probate or you know someone, consider selling the home to a real estate solutions company in New Mexico. The company can buy your home as-is for a fair cash price within 10-14 days. You don’t have to make repairs, and you don’t pay any commissions.

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