Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Proving House Ownership

Sue has completed most of her duties as executor of her dad Luke’s estate in the probate court.  She’s paid the bills, worked on the necessary tax returns and is ready to distribute what is left of Luke’s estate to herself, as his only daughter and the only person he named in his will to receive his estate.

The money is “easy”.  Most of the money left in the estate account can be given to her by check.  Then she can deposit it wherever she wants, in her own name.  The small amount left is a reserve amount to allow her to pay the final expenses of closing the estate in the probate court.

The other major item left over is Luke’s house, which is what started Sue on this probate journey in the first place.  As executor, she can sign a document transferring ownership to herself. But she could also sell it to someone else and sign a deed finishing the sale to them instead.

If she chooses to transfer it to herself, that is considered taking an “in kind” distribution from the estate.  And the document she signs as executor proves she owns the house as an individual herself, so she can take out a mortgage on it, rent it out, or sell it in the future without the probate court.

For advice on taking care of a deceased family member’s estate, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment.  © 2014 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.

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