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Estate Administration: Paying Real Estate Expenses After Death

When someone you love passes away—whether suddenly or expected—it’s an emotional time for family members and those closest to them. As the person responsible for handling their affairs, you must also bear the weight of handling financial and legal matters related to their property.

At Cary Estate Planning, we understand this is a trying time, and we want to make settling their affairs as straightforward as possible.

To help make your load a little lighter, we’ve outlined the steps you should take when paying real estate expenses after death.

Whether you’re preparing ahead of time or dealing with an unexpected passing, this information will help guide you through the complicated nature of estate administration so you can give your loved one the dignity they deserve and peace of mind knowing that their financial affairs are taken care of properly.

Want professional guidance? Contact an estate administration lawyer for one-on-one help today.

What is Estate Administration?

Estate administration is managing a deceased individual’s assets and debts after their passing. It involves collecting, organizing, and distributing estate property to the beneficiaries named in the will or through probate court if there isn’t one.

One important part of estate administration includes sorting out any outstanding bills on behalf of the deceased person. This may include medical bills, credit card accounts, mortgages, car loans, tax payments—anything they owe at the time of death. You should also consider additional expenses related to selling off certain pieces of property or transferring ownership of those items to beneficiaries.

You must also file an inventory report with the local government office within three months from the date of death. Failure to do so could result in fines being imposed and/or delay in the distribution of assets among heirs.

Types of Real Estate Expenses

Understanding the different types of real estate expenses is an important part of managing a loved one’s estate after passing.

  • These expenses can include:
  • Mortgage payments
  • Property taxes
  • Insurance premiums
  • Maintenance fees

When dealing with real estate expenses after death, any outstanding maintenance fees should be paid from the estate’s funds. This can be a complicated process, and it’s essential to ensure that you have a clear understanding of how much money is available to cover these expenses.

If the property was jointly owned or held in a trust, you should also consider the responsibilities of those involved when paying these fees.

Who’s Responsible for Paying Real Estate Expenses After Death?

In most cases, the executor or administrator named by the deceased’s will should be held responsible for settling any outstanding real estate debts or other obligations related to the property.

The person appointed as executor has an obligation under probate law to settle all financial matters relating to their estate. This includes paying taxes, mortgages, liens, utility bills, and any other expenses associated with the maintenance or sale of the property.

How to Pay Real Estate Expenses After Death

The death of a loved one is difficult, and dealing with their estate can be overwhelming.

When it comes to paying real estate expenses after death, there are several steps you can take to ensure that everything is handled correctly.

Here are six:

  1. Identify the assets. This includes any real estate properties your loved one owned and any personal property that may be sold to cover the costs.
  2. Gather documents. The executor or administrator should gather all necessary documents related to the real estate, such as the deed, mortgage agreement, and insurance policies.
  3. Appraise the property. The property should be appraised to determine its current value. This will be important for calculating any estate taxes that may be owed.
  4. Determine the expenses. The next step is to determine the costs. This may include mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and maintenance costs. Get a clear picture of all the expenses to plan accordingly.
  5. Pay the expenses. Once you’ve identified the assets, secured them, and determined them, it’s time to start paying the bills. This may involve liquidating assets, using the deceased’s savings or investments, or selling the property.
  6. Seek professional advice. Dealing with real estate expenses after death can be complicated, especially if multiple properties or assets are involved. Seeking professional advice from an experienced attorney or financial advisor can help ensure everything is handled correctly and efficiently.

Paying real estate expenses after a loved one’s death can be challenging and complicated. With careful planning and organization, you can settle your loved one’s estate and honor their memory in a way they would be proud of.

Administer Your Loved One’s Estate With Professional Help

If you’re dealing with the complex legal issues of estate administration, it’s important to have an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.

At Cary Estate Planning, we help families navigate the challenges of estate administration, including paying real estate expenses after the death of a loved one.

Our team of experienced attorneys understands the emotional and practical complexities involved in these matters, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Contact us now.

Author Bio

Paul Yokabitus

Paul Yokabitus is the CEO and Managing Partner of Cary Estate Planning, a Cary, NC, estate planning law firm. With years of experience in estate and elder law, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including estate planning, guardianship, Medicaid planning, estate administration, and other cases.

Paul received his Juris Doctor from the Campbell University School of Law and is a North Carolina Bar Association member. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named among the “Best Attorney in Cary” in 2016 and 2017 by Cary News and Rising Star in 2020-2023 by Super Lawyers.

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