Someone has passed away, and they’ve left a home and vacation property to their heirs in their will. They also listed you as executor. Now, everything has to go through probate.
What are your responsibilities for this property until it is conveyed to its new owners?
An executor has a high level of responsibility for the estate’s assets
Until that property is conveyed to its new owners, it’s your duty to make sure that it’s not damaged or unduly depreciated. In practical terms, that means:
- You may need to change the locks and security codes to prevent intruders (including intrusions by the presumptive heirs prior to the disposition of the estate).
- You may need to arrange for the utilities to be paid (or shut off) until the probate process is concluded.
- You may need to arrange for routine maintenance, like lawn mowing, leaf removal, gutter cleaning and so on.
- You may need to arrange for a basic clean-out process, e.g., making sure that the refrigerator is emptied and trash is removed.
- You may need to arrange for major repairs, especially when there are problems that could affect the value of the property, like a damaged roof or busted sump pump.
- You may, in some cases, need to arrange for additional security measures, especially if the estate is particularly noteworthy or valuable.
Generally, you need to file a petition with the probate court and get permission to access and administer the estate. During that time, you can also obtain the court’s permission to use the estate’s funds to cover these costs.
Do you need help moving an estate through probate?
Most people have no idea of the intricacies that come with managing someone’s estate, especially when there’s real property involved. An attorney here in Crestview can help.