In ancient days, 25 years ago, many title insurance underwriters believed that an executor (personal representative) needed to get past the creditor period (3 months) before he or she could validly sell real property owned by a decedent. Those days are gone, and for non-homestead property, all an executor needs is either an order approving the sale or the express power to sell stated in the Last Will.
People often ask us if we can recommend estate administration or estate planning services, software or books, and we’ve been looking, honestly. Meanwhile, we did find a good book on organizing all the information and records that many modern Americans come to possess. It’s called Get It Together – Organize Your Records So Your Family Won’t Have To, by Nolo Press.
It is important that the Personal Representative of a Florida estate, or those who inherited the house, contact an insurance agent immediately to discuss their options, and if necessary, obtain coverage for the house in Florida.
No tears were shed this year when the Florida Legislature finally – after far too many years – revised that portion of the homestead law that competed for the “worst idea” among all Florida laws.
Our firm recommends buying title insurance whenever you acquire real estate in Florida, by purchase or from a trust, and you may even need it when you inherit the property, so that you have the peace of mind knowing you have insurance to cure title problems that may surface many years from now.
One of the nastiest surprises that families involved with a Florida probate often face is the HUGE increase in property taxes on the homestead after the final owner dies. There is no change when a husband or wife passes away, provided there is a surviving spouse. However, when the survivor dies, and the homestead property passes to the heirs, two changes combine to put a huge bite on the wallet in the next year’s property tax.