How to Sell a Massachusetts House That Is in a Trust

Estate home sales typically occur following the death of a parent, and you and your siblings are left to sell all assets, including your parents’ home. This is usually a stressful and emotional time and the process may seem daunting, so it’s a good idea to employ a real estate agent to help you with the process of marketing and selling your house.

When selling a home in a trust, it is referred to as probate, which is the legal process of transferring real estate ownership when someone dies. A trust is a legally enforceable document in which the title is transferred from one person (the trustee) to another (the beneficiary).

You can only get around Massachusetts’s probate process if the decedent had a living trust in place.

Probate in Massachusetts

If the property has joint owners then probate isn’t necessary. It can also be avoided if the home gets transferred directly to the beneficiaries or if it gets held in a trust.

The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) helps streamline the process and reduces expenses that you can come across.

When Probate can get Avoided

Here are a few examples of when you can avoid probate:

  • Joint tenancy – Through survivorship, the spouse (husband or wife) will have rights to the property.
  • Property that gets held in a trust – Rights to the property get given to the trust members.
  • Revocable living trust – When assets get held in a revocable living trust.
  • Beneficiaries outside of a will – Assets for when a beneficiary gets named outside of the will, e.g., bank accounts payable on death.

The Probate Process in Massachusetts

To determine the rightful owner in Massachusetts, you have two probate options to choose from:

  • Informal Probate: Less paperwork is required, and court involvement is minor. This process is the faster option if all requirements are available and processed by a Magistrate while under MUPC. Real estate cannot get sold by the use of the informal process.
  • Formal Probate: Real estate sales can get done through the formal process. This process takes longer and can involve more than one hearing through the court to petition the property.

If there is no will (also known as dying intestate), the court will appoint a personal representative to oversee the estate. Assume there is a will that includes the authority to sell the real estate. In that situation, the named personal representative will begin the process by submitting papers with the probate court to obtain authority over the assets’ distribution.

If there is no will or if the will does not permit you to sell, the personal representative will petition the court for a license to sell the property. To ensure that there are no claims or obligations against the estate, the court must approve the sale.

It is frequently necessary to retain the services of a real estate attorney to assist you in the process of acquiring the license to sell. It would be beneficial if you also considered employing a real estate professional to accurately price the house.

Get Help From an Attorney

Using the services of an attorney can be a great solution as they already have the background knowledge to make the process run smoothly. They will collaborate with the real estate agent to guarantee that all legal procedures are followed and that all court proceedings are attended. Lawyers are also not inexpensive, although they are compensated by the sale of the property. If at all possible, negotiate rates before beginning business with them.

Because of the hazards of dying without a will, consider gathering your siblings and planning for your family’s future as well. This will help to avoid any future complications that may come if you die.

Give your attorney all important documents, such as your property data, homeowner’s policy, and so on, for safekeeping.

Important Information to Remember

  • Tax consequences – Don’t forget that there are tax consequences when inheriting a home, and these taxes need to get paid.
  • Speed up the probate process – Filing for probate in Massachusetts can take a year, so start the process as quickly as possible. The reason for the long process is due to creditors given one year to make claims. A delay can also be due to family members arguing over the will.
  • Where to file probate – Probate must get filed in the same county where the decedent passed away.
  • Extra resources – For any additional information, you can go to Mass.gov or NOLO‘s website. Both websites have a wealth of knowledge in selling a Massachusetts house in a trust.

Let Us Help You Sell Your Home Fast

Losing your loved ones can be an emotionally draining time for you and your siblings. Let us take the burden of selling your home off your shoulders so you can have time to mourn your loss.

We have licensed real estate agents who will be able to help you list and market your home. They are also available to answer all your questions and will walk this journey with you.

Probate can be a costly process, so we will cover a portion of the fees if you sell your home to us directly. If you would prefer to sell your home quickly or avoid dealing with a real estate agent, we will pay top dollar for your home and buy it in cash.

We’ll give you the best cash offer if the court has assigned you as a property’s executor. Show us the evidence and all the necessary paperwork, and we will buy the property from you in any condition.

We buy houses across Massachusetts, no matter what condition the house is in, and we’ll provide you with the best cash offer.

To get a free, no-obligation cash offer or schedule a consultation, call us at 781-309-7085.

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Selling a property in Massachusetts in today's market can be confusing. Get in touch with us and we'll be happy to help guide you through your options.

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