Q: If a house is left to three people in a will, does it need to go into probate to be sold?
A: Yes, if the house is in the decedent's name alone and she/he left it to three other individuals in a Will, then a probate will have to be opened and the Will admitted to probate in order to transfer title.
You will need to hire an experienced Florida estate administration attorney to assist you with the process. It cannot be done 'pro se.'
A: Yes, short answer is yes. Longer answer is if the property is only in the deceased person's name on the deed, then you will need to open an estate to transfer the property to the heirs with or without a will. Having a will only does not avoid probate.
If the house is homestead property and is the only asset in the estate OR if the house is homestead and the other assets in the estate (if any) are less than $75,000 OR if over $75,000 the deceased died more than two years ago, then a summary administration can be opened, which is a simpler and quicker estate process.
When a summary estate is opened, for homestead property the attorney also prepares a homestead petition, which requests that the court sign a homestead order. This order is recorded in the public records just like a deed and then allows the persons named in the will to sell the property.
If the property is not homestead, or the people named in the will are not the heirs at law (next of kin), the the other order in the summary estate (order of summary administration) would be the court order that would transfer the property to the persons named in the will.
You should consult with a probate attorney about your case. Our office provides a free 15 minute phone consultation with an attorney to explain this estate process and quote a flat fee for summary administration or a fee estimate for formal administration. You are welcome to call us to discuss this case further. We open estates anywhere in the state of Florida.
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