If you are thinking about selling your inherited property, you might have some questions about probate, such as, “Is there a waiting period before selling my inherited home?” This article will answer that question and you might be surprised at what you learn…
If you’ve inherited a property, you might be wondering what to do with your new house. You might be thinking, “I want to sell my house fast”. This is likely one of many questions you will have…and here are several more:
- Is there is a holding period before selling my newly inherited home?
- What is probate?
- What is a Grant of Probate?
- Can I sell an inherited house before probate, or do I have to wait?
- How long will the estate be in probate before I can sell it?
- If the home in question was jointly owned, does it still have to go through probate?
These are all great questions. So here are a few things you will need to know in order to answer those questions.
Is There A Holding Period Before Selling My Inherited Home?
Probate Versus Inheritance
Generally speaking, an inherited property is what you receive when someone passes away and leaves you their property. Probate is but one stage along the way when completing the estate administration process. Probate is the process of proving the will and making sure that the proceeds of the estate get to the right heir and that includes the inherited property among other assets. While it varies in duration for many reasons, typically Probate takes two to six months. But that timeline will be affected by local conditions.
Therefore, if someone leaves you a home and the house is in probate, technically you will not be able to sell it right away because the will is still being proved. Also, there could be other heirs contesting the results of the will. These are key elements in the estate administration. But supposing you may want to sell your newly inherited property to reduce the holding costs or because someone has made you an offer you would accept, what can you do?
Estate planning refers to creating a final will and testament while estate administration refers to completing probate.
So When Can I Sell My Inherited House?
Despite sounding contrary to what was previously mentioned, the house in question can still be listed for sale while going through probate at the courts. The key element in this process is that the executor who is listing the home for sale must ensure that the sales agreement clearly states that the sale of the home is subject to a probate order being granted. (A Grant of Probate is a court document that validates the executor’s authority to distribute the deceased’s estate and it also confirms the validity of the deceased’s will. In Alberta for example, it is issued by the Surrogate Division of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.)
It would also be wise for the real estate sales contract to state that possession can take place AFTER probate is granted. The difficult part is you are both depending on a concrete date to close the sale, but the probate timeline is out of your hands. It can be tricky. That is why many executors will simply wait for the Grant of Probate to be given before they list and sell the property.
So the house can be sold once probate is complete and you fully own the inherited house. We should also mention that if the property is jointly owned by any two or more people, such as a married couple, then the home will NOT have to go through probate.
There Is A Waiting Period, But There May Be Other Factors
There can be a waiting period with inherited homes but the waiting period doesn’t mean you can’t sell… it’s simply a term used to describe how the estate may be taxed on the property – and it depends on when the deceased passed away. Rules vary by provincial jurisdiction, so please consult a local estate lawyer to determine whether any mandatory holding periods exist. To be clear though, there is no tax for you to pay when you inherit property. So put your mind at ease and stop worrying whether this property you inherited will become a burden to you.
Part of the waiting period will be because the executor must send copies of the Grant of Probate to the Land Titles Office so the title can be transferred (officially called transmition) to the executor’s name. That gives them the authority to complete the sale of the inherited property. Another situation that can delay a property sale is if the house still has a mortgage or some other obligation tied to it. But in most cases, these issues will be sorted out as the estate is settled and, in the long-term, shouldn’t keep you from selling.
Despite your need or desire to speed up probate and the estate administration, it will likely take several months for the process to be finalized. This is to ensure the wishes of the deceased are carried out, all heirs are identified and any and all assets are discovered and administered.
Hurry Up…And Wait?
So, if you inherited a house and are now thinking about selling it, and if you’re wondering, “Is there a waiting period before selling my inherited home?” then here’s the good news: You probably don’t have to wait to sell and you can get that process going right away.
Interested in a fast solution? If you want to sell your inherited house as quickly as possible, give us a call! We can guide you to some trusted legal experts to help you through the process. And if you are looking to sell your inherited house right away or immediately, we will give you a fair, fast, all-cash offer to buy your inherited house as-is.
If you’re interested in learning more about selling an inherited property that will most likely have to go through probate and estate administration, please CALL US TODAY. We can offer you further actionable ideas and even connect you with a trusted partner in your local market.
To further enrich your knowledge base, we provide several additional articles for you to read. If you Need To Sell An Estate Property, Preparing Your Inherited House For A Fast Sale, and 5 Things Executors Must Know.