How Do You Know If Probate Is Necessary When Buying A Property


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How do you know if probate is necessary when buying a property?

In this week’s episode of the Forever Cash Podcast, I opened the floor to our Land Profit Generator Community for a Q&A Session. Priscilla Pastorp asked about probate on a deal she is working on, which opened some interesting questions.

What’s inside:
  • What is probate?
  • When does a property need to go through probate?
  • When can you avoid probate?

Priscilla posted the following question to the Land Profit Generator Group:

“Talked to a very motivated seller who wants to sell like yesterday as he and his wife are in their early 90’s. His wife’s brother gave her the property, and she has just has just been paying the taxes for the last 20 plus years. However, she is now in long-term rehab, and the husband has POA for her. The property owner (her brother) is deceased as of 9 years ago (he was living in Germany at the time of his death). He’s never been married and doesn’t have children. Does the property still have to go through probate? How do I handle this?”

Priscilla Pastorp

Priscilla’s question raises a few technical processes that you should understand as a successful land investor.

What is Probate?

Probate is the general administration of a deceased person’s estate.

If the deceased person owned property, administrators would include the property in the probate process. The estate will be wrapped up by an appointed administrator. During this process, all liabilities will be settled, and assets distributed to beneficiaries, including the title deeds of any property.

When do you need to initiate probate on a property?

To answer this question, you need to establish a few critical facts about the ownership of the property:

  1. How was the purchase of the property set up, initially?
  2. What was the legal process followed after the death of the original owner?

In Priscilla’s example, the sister may have been declared the property owner after probate was completed on her brother’s estate. If this is the case, she has the right to sell the property without any further complications. Her husband has Power of Attorney, and therefore he can sell the property on her behalf.

If the property was registered as a land trust, and the sister is a trustee of that trust, then there will be no probate as the ownership has not changed.

If these conditions are not met, one would have to go through probate before buying or selling the property.

There are a number of ways that you as a land investor can assist the seller to get a property through probate. Listen to episode 190 of the Forever Cash Podcast to learn more.

If you are interested in becoming a successful land investor, register for my upcoming 3-Day Virtual Land Flipping Bootcamp starting on June 25th – 27th

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