How to Sell a House During & After Probate

Probate in Massachusetts

Probate refers to the transfer of real estate and ownership after someone has died. It is essentially a legal way of inheriting a house and a court procedure that allows you to obtain assets of the deceased individual and then transfer over Probate in Massachusetts those assets to a member of the family or a loved one. Selling a house during and after probate in Massachusetts can be quite simple, if you’re working with an individual who can help you understand the entire process.

Under the conditions that a will was in place by the decedent, a probate case would still need to be opened to obtain property ownership. The only way to go around the probate process in Massachusetts is if the decedent died with a living trust already in place.

Probate can be quite an expensive process. However, if you do choose to sell your house in Massachusetts directly to us, we can assist with covering a portion of the fees for you to make things easier for you.

The Probate Process in Massachusetts

What is considered a Probate property?

Probate in Massachusetts is the legal process that occurs after someone dies, during which their estate is settled and their assets are distributed. The probate process is a legal proceeding that ensures the deceased person’s assets are distributed according to their will or, if they did not have a will, according to the state’s intestacy laws. During probate, the court will appoint an executor or administrator to manage the deceased person’s estate, including the sale of any probate property. In Massachusetts, the probate process can take several months to complete, and the sale of probate property can be subject to court approval.

How Probate works in Massachusetts

Here are the main steps involved in the probate process:

  1. File a petition: The first step is to file a petition with the probate court in the county where the deceased person lived. This petition asks the court to appoint an executor or administrator to oversee the probate process.
  2. Notify creditors and heirs: The executor or administrator must notify creditors and heirs of the deceased person’s death and the probate process.
  3. Inventory assets: The executor or administrator must create an inventory of the deceased person’s assets, including real estate, personal property, and financial accounts.
  4. Pay debts and taxes: The executor or administrator must use the deceased person’s assets to pay off any debts and taxes owed.
  5. Distribute remaining assets: After all debts and taxes have been paid, the remaining assets are distributed to the heirs according to the deceased person’s will or, if there is no will, according to Massachusetts law.
  6. Close the estate: Once all assets have been distributed, the executor or administrator can close the estate by filing a final account with the court.

Do I always need a Probate?

Not necessarily. Whether or not you need to go through probate in Massachusetts depends on the size of the estate and how the assets are held. If the deceased person had assets that are jointly owned with rights of survivorship or that have named beneficiaries, such as life insurance policies or retirement accounts, these assets will pass directly to the surviving joint owner or beneficiary without going through probate. Additionally, if the deceased person’s assets fall below a certain value, known as the small estate threshold, probate may not be necessary. In Massachusetts, the small estate threshold is $25,000 for personal property and $50,000 for real estate.

However, if the deceased person had assets solely in their name, without named beneficiaries or joint ownership, and those assets exceed the small estate threshold, then probate will likely be necessary. This is because probate is the legal process that transfers ownership of the deceased person’s assets to their heirs or beneficiaries. It is recommended to consult with an attorney to determine if probate is necessary for your specific situation.

Is there a deadline to probate an estate?

Although there is no set timeframe for probating an estate in Massachusetts, it is advisable to initiate the probate process promptly after the individual’s death to avoid complications. It should be noted that specific deadlines must be adhered to during probate, such as filing the deceased person’s final tax return, paying any outstanding debts, and distributing the estate to beneficiaries. Executors or administrators of the estate should consult with an attorney to ensure that all necessary deadlines are met and the probate process is carried out smoothly and efficiently.

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How to Sell a Probate House in Massachusetts Fast

Below are all options to consider when selling your probate property:

  1. Sell the property to a cash home buyer: Companies that buy houses may be interested in purchasing probate properties, and they offer a cash sale with a quick closing without the need of making any repairs. The big advantage is a stress-free transaction without Realtor fees and commissions.
  2. Sell the property through a real estate agent: This is the most common method of selling a probate house. A real estate agent can help list the property, market it to potential buyers, and handle negotiations and paperwork.
  3. Auction the property: Selling the property at auction can be a fast and efficient way to sell a probate house. However, it is important to work with a reputable auction company and to set a reserve price to ensure that the property is not sold for less than its value.
  4. Sell the property to a family member: If a family member is interested in purchasing the probate house, this can be a straightforward option. However, it is important to ensure that the sale is done at fair market value to avoid any potential legal issues.
  5. Rent out the property: If the estate is not in a rush to sell the property, renting it out can provide a source of income while waiting for the market to improve or for other circumstances to change.

If you inherited a house in Massachusetts and are thinking of potentially selling it, we buy houses in ANY condition and pay cash.

If you are interested in getting in touch with us to talk about your options when selling a house in Massachusetts after probate, be sure to fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you.

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