How a property is titled determines who owns what, and this is important for how an estate is dealt with after the death of the titleholder. It helps the executor and beneficiaries make decisions with minimal conflict during an already trying time.
When getting involved in income property investment, it’s crucial that the title and the property’s standing in a will is clear. It’s not always nice to think about, but it can prevent many issues after, and you can keep investing with peace of mind.
What If I Am Left An Estate Property?
If you are the executor of a will, one of the most important duties you have is to oversee the assets. The biggest of these assets is the property, whether it’s the primary residence, second homes, or vacation properties. The executor has the authority to take possession of both the assets and liabilities of the property and distribute them to the beneficiaries according to the wishes outlined in the will.
If you’re an executor, it’s up to you to secure the property, get it properly appraised, and try to prevent it from losing its value. The property is first registered in the executor’s name through a process called transmission. After this, it is registered by the executor in the names of the beneficiaries in a transfer. To start, the executor should:
- • Make sure the estate is insured
- • If it’s a rental property, try and get the most income from rent
- • Sell the asset for the fair market price if needed
- • Pay all the debts and taxes before distributing the property to the beneficiaries
It’s up to you to administer the estate in a timely manner and act in the best interests of all the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries can ask the court to review and formally approve your actions. This is “the passing of accounts”, and it's the only way to get the asset out of the deceased owner's name and into the name of the beneficiaries. That’s why it’s so important to maintain records and speak to a lawyer about any points that are unclear to you.