Handling real estate assets in the probate process

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2023 | Probate

When it comes to the probate process in Kentucky, real estate assets can play a significant role. Understanding the management and potential sale of real estate in probate is important for beneficiaries and executors.

Following the steps properly ensures a smooth and lawful resolution of real estate matters.

Inventory and appraisal

One step in handling real estate assets in Kentucky probate is to create an inventory of all the decedent’s property, including real estate. An appraisal may be necessary to determine the fair market value of the real estate.

Notification to beneficiaries

Beneficiaries receive notifications of the real estate assets included in the estate. They have the right to know about the management of the property and whether they might get it through a sale or transfer.

Debts and expenses

Before distributing real estate to beneficiaries or selling it, the estate must settle any outstanding debts, expenses or taxes associated with the property. This ensures a clear title and prevents complications later on.

Sale of real estate

If the estate lacks sufficient cash to cover debts and expenses, or if the beneficiaries agree to sell the real estate, it can go on the market. The sale proceeds then help settle the estate’s financial obligations.

Court approval

In some cases, selling real estate in Kentucky probate may require court approval. This typically happens when there are disputes among beneficiaries, or when the sale is necessary to pay off significant debts.

Distribution to beneficiaries

Sale proceeds cover debts, expenses and taxes. Any remaining funds go to the beneficiaries according to the decedent’s will or Kentucky’s intestate succession laws if there is no will.

About two-thirds of adults in the United States lack a will, which can complicate matters if they die. When people in Kentucky die without a will (intestate), their children and the children’s descendants generally have a strong claim to the estate.

Transfer of title

If the decedent wished for specific beneficiaries to get real estate, the title can transfer to their names. This transfer typically requires court approval to ensure that it aligns with the estate’s obligations and beneficiaries’ rights.

During the probate process, someone, usually the executor, needs to manage and maintain the real estate assets, including paying property taxes and insurance and addressing any necessary repairs or maintenance.