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How to Probate Real Estate FAQs

The experienced estate administration attorneys serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates understand just how difficult it is to go through the process of probating a loved one’s estate. During such a difficult, emotional time, whether you are the executor of an estate or a beneficiary, you may have questions about the probate process, including how to probate real estate. While the probate process of all property in the decedent’s estate is essentially the same, there are special considerations related to how to probate real estate in Chicago.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process overseen by the probate court during with the estate of a decedent is settled and ownership of the decedent’s assets is transferred to others, based on the terms of the decedent’s will. The processed is managed by the executor. There are a number of steps that the executor must complete before the distribution of assets, including inventorying the estate assets and paying estate bills. At the end of probate, all of the assets that remain in the estate are distributed to the beneficiaries.

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Are There Special Considerations When Probating Real Estate?

Most estates include several different types of assts including personal property, financial assets, and real estate. Because of the variety of ways that real estate is commonly titled, there are special considerations that an executor must understand related to how to probate real estate.

As an experienced estate administration attorney in Chicago will explain, an individual typically owns real estate in one of three different ways: as the sole owner, as a tenant in common with others, or as a joint tenant with others. How the real estate was owned by the decedent will determine how it is treated during probate.

If the decedent had sole ownership of the property, then the property would be a part of the decedent’s probate estate and would pass to the beneficiary according to the terms of the will. If there is still a mortgage on the real estate, the law allows the beneficiary to assume the mortgage and continue paying it.

If the decedent owned the property with one or more people as tenants in common, then only the decedent’s interest in that property would be probated. The other owners would retain their ownership interest, while the decedent’s ownership interest would pass to the beneficiary the decedent named in his will.

If the decedent owned the property with one or more people as a joint tenant, then the property would not be part of probate. As a Chicago estate administration lawyer will explain, instead the property would pass to the other joint tenants outside of the probate process regardless of what the will stated.

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Can an Executor Sell Real Estate During Probate?

The Illinois Probate Act gives an executor broad authority in managing estate assets, including the power to sell real estate that is part of the probate estate. However, the executor can only sell the interest owned by the decedent. In addition, if the will leaves the house or other real estate to specific beneficiaries, generally the beneficiaries must agree to the sale. Before attempting to sell real estate during probate, it may be a good idea for the executor to review the proposed transaction with a Chicago estate administration lawyer who has experience with probate real estate transactions.

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Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

How to probate a real estate can be complicated, particularly if the real estate is jointly owned by the estate and others. Furthermore, the process can be further complicated if it is occupied by someone who has no ownership interest in it. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have extensive experience representing beneficiaries, heirs, and executors in estate matters related to probate. We are here to help. Contact an estate administration attorney serving Chicago in our office at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent individuals and estates throughout Chicago.

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