What Happens To A House During Probate In Georgia?

What Happens To A House During Probate In Georgia

Click To Get Started Now>>

Wondering how to handle a house during the probate process? 

This article covers things like: 

  • what happens to the house
  • how to probate a house
  • how to sell the house
  • how to distribute the house
  • if someone can live in the house
  • who owns it during probate

Let’s dig in.

What Happens To The House?

A house in probate will either: 

  • pass directly to the co-owners
  • get sold and the money will get split up
  • have ownership transferred to the heirs

Pass Directly To Co-Owners

Here are the reasons a house will pass directly to the co-owners: 

You’ll need to give the county a copy of the death certificate. 

They will update the title work on the property. 

House Gets Sold To Split Up Money

Reasons a house will get sold to split up money are: 

  • To Pay Debts or Expenses: When the estate does not have money for outstanding debts, taxes, or legal expenses. 
  • For Fair Distribution: The house can be sold to give fair shares of the estate to heirs if it’s hard to split the house. 
  • Heir’s Agreement: If the heirs would rather have money than the house, they can sell it. 

To sell a house in probate, you need: 

  • court approval
  • to sell at fair market value

You can’t sell the house and pass the funds directly to heirs.

First, you have to pay estate debts, taxes, and expenses.

When A House Transfers To Heirs

The house can also be passed down to the heirs or beneficiaries when: 

  • There’s enough money to cover debts and expenses without selling the house. 
  • The will states that the house goes to the beneficiaries. 
  • The will gives you the house and you want to keep it. 
  • Heirs decide to co-own and keep the house together. 

The other heirs buy out your portion or trade other inheritance of equal value for it.

Click To Get Started Now>>

Steps For Probate With A House

  1. File For Probate: File the death certificate and petition for probate
  2. Get Appointed: The courts will appoint an executor or administrator. 
  3. Get An Appraisal: Get the house appraised
  4. Pay Debts And Taxes: Notify creditors, pay off debts, and pay taxes owed. 
  5. Sell, Distribute, Or Transfer House: Based on the criteria discussed below.  
  6. Distribute Remaining Assets: Split whatever remains according to the will or intestate laws. 
  7. Do Accounting: File the accounting for the estate with the probate courts. 
  8. Close The Estate: Petition the courts to close the estate.

Distributing The House

Three things can happen to a house during the probate process

  1. Sell: If needed, sell the house to pay debts, taxes, and expenses. 
  2. Distribute: The house gets distributed per the will or intestate laws.  
  3. Transfer: Prepare the deed to transfer the house to the heirs.

Let’s say you sell the house to pay off debts, taxes, and expenses. 

After you pay these off, the remaining money from the sale will be distributed.

Can I Sell My Deceased Parent's House Without Probate?

In general, no, you cannot sell your parent’s house without probate

But, there are a couple of scenarios that allow you to sell it: 

  • JTWROS: The house automatically passes to you and you can sell it without probate. 
  • Transfer on Death Deed: The house automatically passes to you and you can sell it without probate. 
  • Living Trust: You can sell the house per the trust’s instructions without probate. 

These three setups allow you to sell without going through probate. 

Without these, you have to probate the house before you can sell it.

Who Owns A House During Probate?

The estate owns the house during probate. 

The estate is a legal entity that holds the deceased’s property.

Can You Live In A House During Probate?

Yes, you can live in a house during probate if: 

  • You have consent from the executor and beneficiaries
  • You maintain the property, pay utilities, and ensure it’s secure. 
  • There is sufficient insurance on the property. 
  • You vacate the house as needed if it needs to be sold.

If A House Is In Probate Can It Be Sold?

Yes, a house in probate can be sold. 

The executor or administrator must handle the sale of the house.  

They cannot sell the house without approval from the probate courts.

Do All Heirs Have To Agree To Sell Property In Georgia?

The house can be sold without the heirs agreeing to it. 

The executor/administrator only needs the court’s approval to sell the house.

Get Help From A Probate Lawyer

Are you overwhelmed by the Georgia probate process

Our Georgia probate attorneys handle everything for you.

We specialize in taking as much as possible off your plate so that you are not: 

  • personally financially liable
  • accidentally breaking the law
  • filling out the paperwork wrong
  • not notifying or paying off creditors
  • dealing with disputes among family

Fill out the form to take this off your plate.

"*" indicates required fields