Many estates involve the decedent’s home, which passes to their children or other relatives who live in different states. It often poses a challenge to the beneficiaries to now have an additional house to take care of, and we want to share some useful tips for the new owners.
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.
A very common misconception is that if Mom or Dad has a Will, no probate will be needed when they pass away. That is wrong. There are some steps people can take to avoid a probate administration when they die, but signing a Will is not one.
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.
There is a “glitch” in Florida law which creates legal exposure to a Trustee for two years following the settlor’s death if no probate is done.
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.
If you own real property in Florida, you know that tax bills are due every November. With the recent decline in real estate values around the state, and especially in South Florida, many people are asking this question of their county property appraiser: how is this property possibly worth that much in this depressed market?