We all have either experienced or witnessed the grief of losing a loved one.
Grief after death is hard enough. Having a Will and hiring the right professionals can ease complications.
Dealing with the death of parents is challenging enough, but selling their house can be filled with explosive land mines, particularly if they pass away without a Will. I have seen many family members to overcome with anguish that they are unable to make decisions, letting homes that may have already deteriorated fall into further disrepair.
I have seen siblings harboring emotional attachments and express unrealistic expectations about the sale price of their parents’ home.
The task of getting the job done and done right can be easy or difficult. I can help you and your family make it easy and streamline the process. This depends upon you, as an heir, to ask for help as soon as you can and hiring the right professional.
Here are things you can do:
- Make sure both parents have a valid, properly prepared Will in place. This should hopefully avoid sibling in-fighting and a delay in protecting what is usually a chief asset of the Estate. You need a designated “quarterback” (the Executor) to administer the Estate.
- Be prepared to spend some money, to either maintain the house after death (winterizing the house to prevent freezing of pipes or simple things as lawn maintenance to avoid municipal fines, for example).
- Keep the heirs out of the house. Change the locks (so long as no one is living in the house after your parents pass away) and secure it. We can help you legally remove unwanted heirs or other “squatters”.
- Make sure the price is right for the listing of the house. An appraisal is not always needed. We can talk about your options here.
- Designate a contact person. Communication, communication, and communication with the heirs is key here.
We understand and are sensitive to the fact that the heirs may have some sentimental connection to the house or the contents of the house. We can work with you on ways to address this most delicate issue.
We can work with you on any tax issues (inheritance, estate, and income taxes) associated with the house sale and with the Estate in general.