Key probate information that can safeguard and protect your time and money

For the most part, the role of an Executor is a one-time job. If you are taking on this role, you won’t have past experience to draw from, which can leave the door open for inefficiencies and unnecessary expenses.

Here are some of the most common ways you can save time and money for the estate.

Be a Proactive Executor

You may find yourself waiting for your attorney or the court to give you the all-clear to proceed at any given stage of the process. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proactive. There are usually things to do in the meantime, such as clearing out the home while waiting for the Letters Testamentary (which gives youtube authority to sell the property).

Be clear on what the attorney is doing and what you’re being charged for

When engaging in a process like probate some of us can trend toward the role of a bystander when it comes to inheritance retention. Some people will take advantage of this and view overcharging as a victimless crime, while others will truly act in your best interest. It’s up to you to make sure your team members are operating with integrity. One example is when attorneys charge senior rates for paralegal work. Ask for a breakdown of who does what, and make sure they’re charging paralegal rates for work done by paralegals.

Hire a real estate professional who is experienced with probate

By hiring a real estate agent or investor who understands the local probate process, you can save yourself the hassle of increased solicitation or attempting to sell the property before you are authorized. They should also understand how to negotiate the assessed value of the home, which can be a barrier to getting it sold in a timely manner for a fair price.

Get the homeowner policy updated

It doesn’t matter if your loved one had the same policy for the last 20+ years or not. If the home sits vacant for more than 30 days (which it almost always will), the policy will NOT cover loss 9 times out of 10. You need to get vacant home insurance to protect the largest asset, and these policies just aren’t that easy to find. A Realtor with solid probate experience should know who to connect you with so you can protect the most valuable asset in the estate. 

Post No-Trespassing Signs

When a home sits vacant, it can be vulnerable to squatters. The last thing you want is to find that a vagrant has moved in and then it takes 6-12 months to get them out! Squatter’s Rights can really get messy, so posting (and photographing) the signs that have been affixed near all entrances can protect you from a long and unnecessary process.