Estate Settlement, What Heirs Should Know...
Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate. A decedent’s probate estate may consist of assets left behind that were owned by the decedent in his or her name.
Before any beneficiary or heir of a deceased person can receive a property that belonged to the deceased person, the estate must be properly administered and all debts of the estate must be cleared.
If the homeowner left a Will, the Executor is the authorized person. If the house is in a Trust, the Trustee is the authorized person. If there is no Will or Trust, someone must step forward and take responsibility. In Illinois the court will appoint an Executor.
Real Property is often the most, or one of the most valuable assets of an Estate. A house can also pose some challenges for someone handling the Estate of a loved one who has passed away.
Yet, that responsibility is made easier by making good use of professionals. Include an estate attorney, a real estate agent, and a licensed property appraiser, experienced at handling estate appraisals.
An attorney will help with all the legal matters having to do with probate. A realtor can help with marketing the home for sale and offering a pricing strategy. The real estate appraiser will provide the estate with an accurate opinion of market value.
At this point, heirs and other concerned parties may have different ideas regarding pricing than the opinion of a realtor. Thus, a more formal appraisal should be obtained from a professional Real Estate appraiser. An appraiser who has experience in dealing with estates and probate.
Retrospective Home Appraisal
In probate situations, it is common for the property appraiser to perform a retrospective home appraisal. This means that even though the property might be inspected today, it isn’t valued from today’s date. It will be based upon a previous date (usually the date of death of the owner of the property, hence the term “date of death” appraisal).
For example, if the owner of a property passed away on October 12, 2016 and the current date is March 15, 2017, the appraiser would inspect the property today, but the value conclusion would be based on what the market was doing on October 12, 2016, the date of death.
The most reliable home valuation or opinion of value, will come from a formal appraisal. A licensed real estate appraiser familiar and experienced with estate appraisals will conduct it. An appraiser’s job during an estate settlement is to issue an unbiased opinion on the value of the property.
This opinion of value may help the heirs determine an acceptable selling price for the property. The real estate appraiser will inspect both the inside and the outside of the property.
The appraisal inspection will include the land, buildings, and fixtures. The appraiser will provide the executor, attorney or trustee a copy of the appraisal report usually within three days after the inspection was completed.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if we may be of service.
The law surrounding estate law is complicated and the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. This is not legal advice. Please contact an estate attorney to provide legal advice. As with any legal matter, we highly recommend consulting with an attorney.