During formal probate proceedings, the personal representative (also referred to as the “executor”) is responsible for conducting the process to settle the deceased’s estate according to the provisions in the will and distribute the assets to their rightful heirs.
In this scenario, how long after probate can a house be sold in Florida? Read on to find out.
How Long After Probate Can a House be Sold in Florida? – The Verdict
When someone dies in Florida owning a house, the property can be sold either during or after probate is complete. Depending on the circumstances, the house must be sold to settle estate debts, pay attorneys’ fees, or resolve legal disputes between heirs.
In many situations, an individual who inherits a house may not want to keep it for several reasons, such as financial distress, personal reasons (e.g., long-distance commute from the house to work), high maintenance costs, and property taxes.
Please note that selling a house during probate is not as easy as selling a house outside of probate. However, it is still a feasible alternative.
Selling a House During Probate in Florida – As Provided by Law
Depending on whether the deceased’s will expressly grant the personal representative the right to sell, there are two ways to sell a home during probate in Florida – with or without court intervention.
Florida Statutes §733.613 (1) states that “a personal representative of an intestate estate, or whose testator has not conferred a power of sale or whose testator has granted a power of sale but the power is so limited by the will or by operation of law that it cannot be conveniently exercised, (…) the personal representative may sell it at public or private sale.”
The same statute specifies the decision “shall consider that it is for the best interest of the estate and of those interested in it that real property be sold, the personal representative may sell it at public or private sale.”
Accordingly, “no title shall pass until the court authorizes or confirms the sale. No bona fide purchaser shall be required to examine any proceedings before the order of sale.”
If the will contains express language granting power to sell real property, “the personal representative may sell, mortgage, or lease, without authorization or confirmation of court, any real property of the estate or any interest therein (…).”
Under Florida Statutes §733.613 (2) adds that “the sale, mortgage, or lease need not be justified by a showing of necessity, and the sale pursuant to power of sale shall be valid.”
Typically, the process to clear the legal title of the property and sell it can take up to five months. Depending on the case, the personal representative can rely on the assistance of an expert broker to sell the home quicker.
In any case, formal probate administration requires the personal representative to hire a licensed attorney in Florida.