Q: Hello, my question has a part one I am a license RE My client has a property working through pro-bate, I can I buy it
and stop the probate. Or will the client have to complete the probate process which just started on 11/22/2021. 2)The Deed is in the father's only. But he was married, and she has recently passed 11/14/2021. 3) The father's daughter's would like to just sell the property. But There is a tenant living in the property, possible relative of the Deceased Wife? 4) If they sell the property before completing pro-bate what legal issue will they face? And if I become the buyer is this a conflict of interest, I am and has been working with this family on this matter for 24 months. Is this a probate consult or real estate consult. Thank You for your prompt response.
A: If the property is in Maryland, you should not be able to close unless the probate resolved the deed. Without a review of the deed and the sequence of weddings, purchases, and deaths, it is impossible to define what needs to be done, but many lawyers cover both probate and real estate, and it won’t be a difficult issue once you run a title abstract and get a family history. You should be able to map out a plan in a one-hour consult.
A: There is nothing that prohibits the sale of real estate by the Personal Repesentative of the estate, so long as the sale is either based on fair market value, or if not, then if all the heirs and other interested persons agree (typically, "other interested persons" means creditors if there are insufficient proceeds and other estate assets to pay all claims against the estate). The net proceeds of sale go into the estate account and are later distributed to the heirs. There is no reason for real property not to be sold while the estate is being administered. In fact, real estate is often a drag on estate assets: the cost of maintenance, repairs, property taxes, mortgage payments, homeowner's insurance, etc., may be a waste of estate assets, which violates the Personal Representatve's legal obligation to preserve, protect and maximize the estate's value. Your ethical obligations have more to do with being honest in your disclosures and communications with the estate heirs and PR, and not to mislead them into selling to you at a reduced price. The question of the "tenant" and the deceased wife's interest (in all likehood, none, but that will need to be reviewed), are separate issues from selling the property. The PR can evict the tenant, or the new buyer (you?) can buy subject to the tenant being there and then you deal with evicting the tenant. Any monetary claims of any interested person (including the deceased wife's estate) can be filed as a claim in the estate and be made against estate assets, including the net sales proceeds of the house. They do not tie up sale of the house. The PR of the estate nees to have a "date of death" appraisal performed on the real property owned by the estate, by a certified real estate appraiser (it must be by a certified appraiser). This will determine the tax basis in the property and fix any capital gains taxes owed since the date of death. While tax assessed value is permitted to be used, in this real estate market that is not a good option and would not maximize estate value for the heirs.
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