The loss of a loved one is hard enough to deal with. But when that loved one’s estate has to go through probate, the difficulty is only compounded with additional emotional turmoil and a host of legal complexities. If, however, you go into it armed with a little knowledge, the whole process becomes easier to navigate. So let’s see what it means when a house in probate in Omaha, NE.
What Is Probate?
Probate is simply the court-supervised process by which a decedent’s debts are paid and the estate is distributed to heirs and beneficiaries. When there is a will, the process follows the explicit directions in the last will and testament. Without a will in place, it is carried out according to state law. But probate isn’t always as simple as it seems on the face of it, especially when this question arises: “What does it mean when a house is in probate in Omaha, NE?”
The primary purpose of probate is to prevent fraud after a person’s passing. Basically, it aims to freeze the decedent’s estate till the court and judge can determine that the will is valid, that all the proper people have been notified, and that creditors and taxes have been paid.
Most probate cases in Nebraska are handled by county courts (rather than by city or district courts as in many other states). Governed by Nebraska laws, the probate process can be quite lengthy. There is, first of all, a waiting period to allow creditors to come forward. And then all the estate assets have to be tallied up and a valuation made – which is often made more difficult by disagreements between beneficiaries. Typically, probate takes between six to nine months to reach completion.
The typical probate process in Omaha, NE, also involves a mountain of legal paperwork and appearances by attorneys. The basic steps are:
- Validating the decedent’s will
- Petitioning for probate
- Making public announcement of probate proceedings
- Inventorying estate assets
- Appraising assets
- Paying debts and taxes
- Distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries and heirs (either according to the will or in accordance with state law if there is no will).
What Does It Mean When a House in Probate in Omaha, NE?
Let’s take a look then at the three most common scenarios to see exactly what it means when a house is in probate in Omaha, NE.
If the decedent left a valid will, this is called testate probate. In this instance, the person designated in the will as the executor will carry out the decedent’s stated wishes in probate court, which includes conveyance of property (after paying creditors and taxes) to the named beneficiaries.
The first step is to file a petition with the probate court, and then a court date is set when the executor will be granted legal authority to take the necessary actions. When a house is involved, the judge will, as per the will’s instructions, convey the real property to the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries can then keep or sell the house.
Another possible probate scenario is one in which there is no will, called intestate probate. In this case, estate property is transferred through the probate court after the judge has appointed someone as executor of the estate. State law determines to whom a house will be transferred – whether surviving spouse, children, or next of kin. The governing laws here are called intestate succession laws.
SELLING ESTATE PROPERTY WITH PROBATE OVERSIGHT
This is the scenario most people have in mind when they ask, “What does it mean when a house is in probate in Omaha, NE?” It is usually an intestate probate situation, and here are the typical steps:
- The court-appointed executor contacts a probate real estate agent.
- An inspection is performed.
- The house is listed on the open market.
- Offers will be entertained with the goal of minimizing the tax burden.
- An offer is accepted.
- The probate attorney will file appropriate documents with the court.
- A court date is set to finalize the sale, and the mandatory waiting period ensues.
- Other buyers are then allowed to bid in predetermined increments.
- With court approval, a final bid is accepted and the transaction completed.
Making the Path Smoother
So, then, what does it mean when a house is in probate in Omaha, NE? For the most part, it means a lot of waiting and a lot of legal maneuvering – and a lot of headache. You can’t speed up the probate courts, but you can expedite the actual process of selling by using a reputable cash buyer. You can sell as-is with no commissions, and you will get a fair offer. In fact, you may be able to close within five days. To discover more about this viable option for selling a house in probate in Omaha, NE, call us at (855) 291-5005 or fill out the easy online form.