As a seasoned Bay Area real estate agent, I have seen the difficulties of probate first-hand. When the son or daughter of the deceased asks me to sell the family home, the first thing I do is ask if Mom and Dad created a Revocable Living Trust. If the answer is yes, I know that the home can be sold quickly and easily, allowing the bereaved to focus on personal affairs.
If the deceased did not do a Will or Trust, the estate must be probated, which is a court process designed to determine who is in charge and who shall inherit the estate. In many instances I have seen survivors struggle with the landscaping and maintenance of the property, payment of the mortgage and the inability to access the funds necessary to upgrade the home prior to sale.
In these cases, I work diligently to assist by coordinating renovations, removal of furniture and preparing the house to receive the highest and best offer.
Making the time to set up your estate plan is a truly loving gift. It will extend your legacy; show loved ones you care and make your absence less painful and difficult.
Susan Boerner, realtor, Compass