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How to Sell a Dead Relatives House FAQs

When a relative passes away, there are always questions as to what will happen to the decedent's property. Some relatives of the decedent may want particular assets, while others may prefer to sell the decedent's property. However, regardless of what the wishes of the decedent's relatives, under Illinois law a decedent's estate will be disposed of based on the decedent's preferences as stated in her will. Furthermore, the executor who the decedent named in her will has the legal authority to make decisions about how the property in the estate will be managed. Thus, the first step in determining how to sell a dead relative's house is for the executor to examine the decedent's will. If you would like to learn more about how to sell a dead relative's house, contact a skilled estate administration lawyer in Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Is an Executor Allowed to Sell My Loved one's House?

If the house is part of the decedent's probate property, than the only person with the legal authority to sell the house would be the executor of the estate. However, the executor's power to sell a house does have limits.

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What Limitations are on an Executor's Power to Sell a House?

First, the house must be part of the decedent's probate estate. If the decedent owned the house as a joint tenant with another person, then the house would not be part of the probate estate. The executor would have no authority to sell the house. The decedent's interest in the house would automatically pass to the other joint tenant.

Second, the executor can sell the house only if it is in the best interests of the estate to do so. Under Illinois law, an executive has a fiduciary duty to manage estate property for the good of the estate. Thus, the executor must have a good reason to sell the property.

Third, if the decedent's will states that she wants to house to go to a specific beneficiary, then generally speaking, the executor must get the approval of that beneficiary before selling the house.

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What Happens to the Money Received From Selling the House?

As a Chicago estate administration lawyer will explain, the executor will be required to use the proceeds of the sale of the house based on the reason the house was sold. In some instances executors sell real estate and other estate property in order to get cash to pay estate debts. Thus, if that was the reason for selling the house, then the money will go toward paying estate debts and expenses.

If the house was sold because the beneficiary to whom the decedent left it requested that it be sold, then the proceeds would go to that beneficiary.

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What Should I do if I Want to Purchase My Loved one's House?

If the executor determines that it is in the best interest of the estate to sell a house, then the executor must also make sure that the deal to sell the house is fair to the estate. If you are interested in purchasing a house that is part of a loved one's estate, first discuss the matter with a Chicago estate administration lawyer who has experienced with issues related to probate real estate.

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Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

There are considerations related to how to sell a dead relative's house that are different from other types of real estate transactions. The law allows executor's to sell houses that are part of probate estates, but only under specific conditions. If you are concerned about selling the Chicago house of a loved one who has passed away, contact an experienced estate administration attorney serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We are here to help. Contact us 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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