Q: If I'm added to the mortgage as executor, does the house still need to go through probate?
My mother had the house in her name only, Chase has added me as an authorized user to keep paying the mortgage, would that allow me to sell the house without going through probate, or is probate the only way to sell the house? Myself and my brother are the only living relatives, and we agree on selling the house.
A: If a person passes away owning real estate in his/her name only and without a transfer on death deed making an automatic transfer at death, some probate proceeding would be required to convey ownership of the property or to authorize someone to transfer the property on behalf of the estate. If an executor or administrator is appointed, that person would have the authority to sell the property consistent with the terms of the will, if any, or an order of the court. If no estate is opened within six months of the date of death, a determination of descent proceeding could be used to identify that you and your brother are the sole heirs at law and you own the real property as of the date of death. You should consult with an attorney to determine the best course of action.
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