Q: My girlfriend mother passed away and left a home wit no will, she has not paid the mortgage since October, can she sell
The house if she gets a probate lawyer to change it over to her name and it there a flat fee for this service, or what would she pay, we spoke to a lawyer who’s asking for $700 as a retainer and $4100 once the property is sold
A: She will likely be able to sell during the probate proceedings. Probate attorney fees vary. You may contact me for more information.
A: If this is in Florida then she will in most instances need a Florida Probate Attorney. If there is no Will then the then the Florida Intestate Statutes (without a Will) are going to apply. If the property was her mom's Homestead then special rules and protections will apply to property with respect to who can inherit it (usually surviving spouse and or children) and there are substantial protections from most creditors. Depending on the type of assets and their value that have to go through probate will determine the type of probate that is required. If the assets that must be probated are worth $75,000 or less a Summary Administration may apply and work, if the assets are worth more than that sum then it is likely that a Formal Probate will be required where your girlfriend would be named the estate Personal Representative. Attorney fees can vary substantial from law office to law office and even attorney to attorney within the same firm. A copy of the property deed for review would be helpful and additional details and specifics would further help in determining precisely what will need to be done and to better advise on the specific specific needs and circumstances that will apply. Issues that will matter will be whether there is a surviving spouse, are there any siblings and what assets are in her mom's name alone that will need to be probated. As part of the probate process the property will be put into the surviving beneficiaries name/s and then you can do what you like with the property, if the property was Homestead special rules and protections will apply. If the property was Homestead you can likely also assume the mortgage. You really should have a discussion with an attorney from the state where this is located for additional specifics and details.
A: You should shop around and see if you can find an attorney who will handle a summary administration of a homestead only for a flat fee you can afford. My office handles homestead only estates for a flat fee. You are welcome to call our office for a free phone consultation and a quote. Once the property is transferred through the probate process to the heirs, the heirs are free to sell the property; however, it is very important to keep the mortgage payments up to date if at all possible, because a bank can foreclose if the mortgage payments are not made, and there is no special grace period after the borrower dies.
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