Can an Executor Sell a House without Beneficiaries Approving it in Georgia?
In Georgia, Can an Executor Sell Property Without All Beneficiaries Approving?
As the executor of an estate, you may be called on to sell a house to pay off debts or expenses, or simply to distribute the estate among the beneficiaries.
But things can get complicated when the beneficiaries can’t agree whether or not to sell the house. Some beneficiaries may want to keep the house in the family, while others want to sell it as quickly as possible. In that case, you may have to seek out the assistance of a probate court.
First Step: Contact an Attorney
While the tips below can serve as a useful guide, they don’t constitute legal advice. Estate law can be complex, so it’s important to seek out legal advice as early in the process as possible.
Be aware that neither the probate judge nor the court staff can act as your legal advisors. You should seek out an attorney who specializes in probate law.
Selling a House in Probate in Atlanta, Georgia
In the state of Georgia, you cannot sell real estate unless you have been specifically granted the authority to do so.
If the property is too expensive to retain, or if it’s liable to deteriorate if you hold onto it too long, it becomes what’s known as perishable. That means that you can file a petition in the probate court asking for the authority to sell the property. At that point, it will be up to the judge to decide whether to go forward with the sale.
You will also need to petition the court if you want to lease or rent out a property. The beneficiaries or heirs must also be given notice of the proposed transaction, in case they decide to object.
Avoid Conflicts of Interest
As the executor, you must be particularly careful about conflicts of interest. This can happen if you want to buy the property, or if you are related to a potential buyer, or even if you hold a joint interest in the property. If you are a beneficiary as well as the executor, things can quickly get complicated.
Even if there is no actual conflict of interest, even the appearance of a conflict can lead to legal hassles. It’s best to consult an attorney before making any decisions.
How Soon Do You Have To Sell the House?
It’s more expensive to insure a vacant house. If the property is sitting empty, your insurance costs could go through the roof. The longer the property sits vacant, the greater the risk of attracting thieves or vandals. And if a small problem such as a roof leak goes unnoticed, it could lead to major damage. So it’s often better to sell as quickly as possible.
Can You Make Improvements to the Property?
A real estate agent may recommend that you make repairs or improvements to the house in order to make it easier to sell. These suggestions could be as simple as repainting the front door or as extensive as redoing all of the landscaping.
But before you even pick up a paintbrush, you need to find out whether you are authorized to spend estate assets to make these improvements. If not, you could end up in legal trouble.
It’s also worth noting that you may not sell the property unless you have the authority to do so, whether it’s been granted to you by law, court order, or under the terms of the will.
The Easiest Way for an Executor to Sell a House in Atlanta
Before you can sell the house, you must have the clear legal authority to proceed with the sale. Then, you should make sure that all mortgage payments are up to date, and all property taxes have been paid.
Once all of those obstacles are out of the way, call We Buy Ugly Houses® for a free, no-obligation consultation. With us, you can avoid the headaches and expenses of a lengthy real estate transaction. Instead, you can sell the house "as is" for cash.