Have you lived in your parents’ house your entire life? While that may be the one place you call home, it may not necessarily be yours to keep or sell after your parents pass away. Due to estate planning laws, the familiar home will still need to go through probate, and here’s why.
Probate is Complex in All Cases
From small estates to massive, multimillion dollar estates, probate has a knack of getting complicated fast. This court-supervised process handles quite a few aspects of an estate, so it is no surprise that it would be complex. It is this inherent complexity that ties up the home you likely thought would be yours without contest.
There are four main purposes of probate:
- Collecting assets
- Finalizing owed taxes
- Resolving existing debts
- Distributing the estate
Any one of these purposes can put a hamper on your ability to keep or sell your familial home. Does your parents’ will or trust assign the home to someone else? You would not be able to collect it through distribution if so. Did your parents owe a significant amount of money to the government through taxes, or a creditor through credit card debt? Part or all of your home’s value will go to them first, before any named inheritors can claim it.
While many people prefer to take steps to avoid probate altogether, the process of reviewing a will for mistakes and to better understand the final wishes of a loved one does have its benefits. If you are hoping on collecting and then selling your parents’ home after they pass away, it could be to your advantage to learn firs through probate that there are no legal snares you should be concerned about. For help with probate, estate planning, and all related matters in the Bay Area, contact Randick O’Dea Tooliatos Vermont & Sargent. Our Alameda County probate attorney can get you started with a free consultation.