Real estate in probate damaged by natural disaster.

Why probate is more urgent than you think

Losing a loved one has many challenges, many of them emotional.

For some, the grieving process is lengthy, which makes administrative tasks like probate difficult if not seemingly impossible.

Others are so busy with their careers, family and other commitments that taking time off to deal with the affairs of a loved one can seem daunting.

Are you putting off the probate process? If so, you should know that there could be steep consequences for waiting too long.

With that in mind, here are four things that can go terribly wrong should you delay the probate process longer than necessary.


Property Disputes

Reports out of California have shown problems with squatters occupying vacant homes, forcing owners to formally evict them.  Without probate, the family will not have the legal authority to kick squatters out. As far-fetched as squatters on family property may seem, this is just one example of many risks and liabilities you should keep in mind if you are tempted to delay the start of the probate process.


Property Taxes

With each passing day, the tax liability of real estate grows.

A common problem we encounter at EZ-Probate is that sometimes families don’t know that  probate is needed until they try to sell the home. Perhaps they found a seller to buy their mom’s house after she died, but now they will have to wait another month (or more) to get the authority from a probate court judge to sell mom’s house, which means that another month of property taxes will be owed. Starting probate earlier would have saved them this month’s worth of unnecessary costs.


Property Insurance

When you delay probate, you may increase the time the property is spent vacant. Probate is needed to legally transfer ownership of property from the deceased, delaying the transfer can cause several issues. One example is that insurance claims (for instance, in the case of damage to the home) will not be able to be issued as there is no current owner to the home.

Vacancy is another issue, as it is likely that no one lives in the home. Insurance companies will only cover a vacancy for a specified time period, as noted in your contract. After that specified time period is up, the property may not be insured.


Changing Markets

Stocks  have the potential to fluctuate wildly, which means that assets you could have sold if you started probate earlier may now sell for substantially less money at a later date. When probate assets decline in value, heirs lose money, and frequently they will look for someone else to blame. — he probate executor who delayed starting the probate will be an easy target.

Dealing with end of life administrative processes such as probate can be stressful, but it must get done — and the sooner it happens, the better it will be for all parties involved If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the probate process, we can help. Contact us today for more information.