Probate sales in CA are legal, but they must follow a specific set of procedures. Probate sales can occur for a number of different reasons. They could be expressly stated as the deceased’s desires in a will. They could also be the result of someone dying intestate or without a valid will, and that is the way to distribute the value among the heirs. In other situations, the proceeds of the sale may be needed to cover debts and expenses.
Whatever the reason behind them, probate sales are legal in California but subject to proper procedures within the probate process.
For property to be sold in probate, the court must give permission before the sale process can begin. Because the proceeds of the property are going to be used in the probate process, either to help pay off debts, distributed among the heirs, or for some other purpose, it’s important that the property be sold at a sufficient value.
For this reason, no offer is allowed to be accepted that is less than 90% of the appraised value of the property, and that appraisal must have occurred within the last year. This is one way of ensuring that enough value is derived from the sale of the property.
The court will need to confirm any sale before it can go through. To begin that process, once an offer is accepted, the representative of the estate will need to notify the court. The court will then schedule a hearing that includes an auction component.
Anyone interested in the property may attend the hearing and participate in the bidding. The auction process will only open if someone is interested in bidding at least 105% plus $500 over the accepted offer.
If this happens, the judge holds an auction and will award the property to the highest bidder that’s also reasonably obtainable. In other words, someone can’t come to the hearing and bid $3 million on a piece of property appraised at only $500,000 because it’s unlikely that amount of money will ever be paid. Once the auction is complete, a 10% deposit will be required of the winner.
There is one way to avoid this process, though, which is to ask the court for authority to sell through the Independent Administration of Estates Act. However, not everyone who requests this status will be approved.
A: The process of selling a property through probate is complex. There are a number of notifications to the court that are involved. There are also procedural steps around the use of a real estate agent to facilitate a sale, and hearings must be held. Issues with not following the proper procedures can often lead to delays.
Working with a probate lawyer, though, can help the process of selling the property go much more smoothly. They are aware of all the procedures and nuances involved in selling a house in probate. Relying on their advice and experience can reduce stress and ensure that the property is sold according to the probate rules.
A: It is possible to avoid having a property subject to a sale within the probate process. For this to happen, though, it would have to be shielded from the probate process. The most effective way to do this is for someone to set up a living trust before their death. Anything that is within the trust is not subject to probate.
A: The heirs of an estate will need to be notified by the estate’s representative of any potential sale. This is done through a “Notice of Proposed Action.” The heirs are then given 15 days to object, and if no one does, then the sale is allowed to proceed. If there are objections, then the court will likely have to determine whether the sale is allowed to proceed.
The 15-day waiting period can be avoided if each of the heirs signs a “Waiver of Notice of Proposed Action.” The sale can then go forward once all waivers are signed.
A: Probate is a process that is meant to ensure that a person’s estate is handled in a way that addresses certain legal obligations first. Then, it is distributed to the heirs and beneficiaries of the estate according to the will, if there is one, and state guidelines. Probate prioritizes debts, liabilities, and taxes and sees that they are taken care of first.
To ensure that this is handled according to those priorities, the process follows specific steps. Generally, those steps are:
Like most things involving probate, orchestrating a property sale can be complex. There are several procedural steps that need to be followed. Any mistakes in this process can cause significant delays and prevent it from getting done in a timely fashion, and no one has ever wished for the probate process to go on longer.
However, when you work with an experienced probate firm like Sweeney Probate Law, you can be sure that everything is being addressed and that the procedures are being followed. If you need help with a probate sale or any other probate needs, be sure to contact us today.