Guest Author J. Byron Wyndham has written a post to help us understand a little more about Estates and how to go about ensuring that proper Title is obtained before listing a North Georgia Mountain Property and ultimately closing the sale at the Attorney’s office.
All Real Estate Agents need to be very careful when listing property that is part of, or coming from or through an estate or probate action.
In dealing with Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship, we do not have to worry about probate action. When one party dies, the Title is automatically transferred to the surviving Spouse, Partner, or Tenant. But sometimes the surviving Spouse, Partner, or Tenant thinks there is right of survivorship when actually there is not.
If the Title is coming from an Estate, or from a Surviving Spouse, Partner or Tenant, it is very prudent and advisable that the Listing Agent asks a lot of questions. The main problem we see when handling sales from an Estate is that often the Seller does not really know the status of Title within the Estate.
I once had an Executor tell me that he would be in my office to sign the Deed since he had full power as the Executor. We kept asking questions because we were unable to locate the Will and the Estate. We were concerned that the Estate was probated in a county other than where the property was located. After a lot of questions, and back and forth, I realized that the Will had never been probated. The “Executor” was named as the Executor in the Will but we had to explain to him that he was not the Executor until the Probate Court probated the will, named him the Executor, and granted him the appropriate powers.
It is so important to know the status of the Estate ahead of time. Sometimes we have to track down missing heirs, locate the original Will and even probate the Will prior to closing. So often the heirs know there is a problem but don’t know what to do about it. Estate issues need to be addressed prior to closing and not while everyone is sitting at the closing table.
Thanks Byron for your insight and thoughts on Estates and Title to Property. I guess from now on when I hear the word Estate, you better believe I will be asking a lot of questions. If you have any questions or concerns about Real Estate, I would be more than happy to assist you in anyway that I can. I may not know the answers, but I know who, where, and how to get the answers. So give me a call at 706.633.8186, or you can Contact Me now.
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