Selling a property can sometimes be a challenging experience. When dealing with land owned by a loved one who has recently passed away, it can be even more daunting, especially if you are grieving and wishing they were still here. But by following a few simple steps, the process can be a little easier for loved ones to handle the estate.
If you are thinking of selling property that was held by a person that has passed away, there are a few things to consider.
If you have been appointed as an Executor, one of the first things to do is check the Certificate of Title. This will show details of who currently owns the property, how the land is held (if more than one owner), and any encumbrances (i.e. mortgages or easements) that are registered against the property.
Once the Application for Probate or Letter of Administration documents are lodged at the Probate Registry, it can take 4 to 6 weeks for them to be granted. Your Conveyancer can help you to work out the timeframes involved, and what else needs to happen prior to settlement if you plan to sell the property.
But who signs the land contract?
The Real Estate Agent must ensure the right person, who has authority to ‘deal’ with the land, signs any sale contract. This could be done by viewing the Will or some other documentation from solicitor showing who has been appointed as Executor.
Where a Grant of Probate has not yet been issued, but the Will appoints an Executor, then the Executor may sign a land contract, provided that settlement is subject to a Grant issuing to the Executor.
Once Probate or Letters of Administration have been granted, a stamped copy of the Grant of Probate (including the Will) and Registrar’s Certificate should be provided to your Conveyancer so they can finalise settlement.
What happens after settlement?
Generally, the Executor of an Estate must allow a period of 6 months after Probate has been granted before they can distribute the Estate. This is to allow sufficient time for a claim to be made by anyone else who may have an interest in the Estate. If the Executor is certain there is no one else who could make a claim, they may decide to take this risk and distribute the Estate sooner.
Once this has been decided, the Executor will provide instructions to the Conveyancer on how the settlement funds are to be distributed.
At Marshall Conveyancing, we are here to help you. Please get in touch with us and allow one of our Conveyancers guide you through the process.