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You’ve Been Named as Executor or Trustee to an Estate – Now What?

We buy houses in probate situations, along with all other situations. 205-390-1050
We buy houses in probate situations, along with all other situations. 205-390-1050

If you have been named as the executor or trustee to a deceased person’s estate, you are probably wondering what your next step is after being handed such an important responsibility.  We recently uncovered a detailed article describing this process, and will cover some of the highlights here.

It is very common to have to deal with a piece of real estate in an estate, and in fact we do a lot of business with these types of situations.

So here is a summary of the items to consider as you start managing a deceased person’s estate:

1. Understand the Estate Documents.  These documents will determine the rules, persons, and procedures that apply to distributing the estate.  As the executor or personal representative, you have the responsibility of administering and distributing the estate.  There may be specific language about who gets what — including any houses or parcels of real estate.

2. Determine the Assets.  This can be harder than it seems.  You must determine what assets are in the estate.  In addition to the deceased’s residence, were there any rental properties or other assets that were owned?  Many people often have a hard time determining the assets of estate.  (Note: Let this be a lesson to you to document your own assets diligently to help your heirs out!)

3. Identify the Heirs.  Most estate documents clearly spell out who the heirs are.  However, what if one of those heirs is deceased?  Read carefully to determine how the assets are to be distributed.  When you go to sell any houses or real estate in the estate, you will also need to deal with getting clean title to the house, which may involve other persons yet unknown to you.

4. Identify the Creditors.  Estates typically have creditors of some sort that need to be paid.  This may includes credit card companies, and in the case of real estate, mortgage companies.  You have an obligation to ensure that all creditors are paid.  When selling houses or real estate in the estate, you will be assisted in handling this by the closing attorney or title company.  In order get clean title when selling a piece of real estate, any creditors with liens on the property must be satisfied (or paid off).

5. Conduct the Proper Process.  The proper process will be dictated by the estate documents and assets of the deceased.  You may need to conduct a probate process in multiple states if the deceased had assets in other estates.  You may need to get court approval for certain items depending on your situation.

For further explanation on all these points, refer to the source article here.  As you can see, you should seek out a licensed professional (typically a probate attorney) to assist you with this process.

If you have a house or piece of real estate in probate that you need to sell quickly, call us at 205-390-1050 or fill out our simple form at  We buy houses in Birmingham and the surrounding areas, so if you need to sell a probate property fast, don’t hesitate and contact us right away.


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