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How do executors handle real estate?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2019 | Estate Planning, Probate

If you are a candidate to serve as an estate executor for a relative in Texas, you might be required to oversee a home or property of your deceased relative. Some executors find this to be a challenging task, as real estate is not an easy asset to administer. Depending on the situation, there will be a number of questions and problems a Houston executor might have to face. 

Marketwatch explains that some executors have to deal with conflict between beneficiaries. If there is no agreement among heirs, an executor might be caught between opposing viewpoints. One beneficiary may wish to hold on to a house while another wants to sell it and pocket the proceeds. The beneficiary who wants the house might even live in the property, adding to the conflict. 

Discord among beneficiaries can become a real headache for executors. Sometimes heirs will discuss the matter and mutually decide what to do with the property, solving the problem. However, if conflict persists, one or more of the beneficiaries might litigate the matter in court. An executor can also seek remedy from a probate court if a deadlock between beneficiaries persists. 

Even if there is agreement that the property should be sold, executors will likely confront other questions. To increase the value of the property, an executor might seek to conduct renovations before selling it. However, executors should learn whether they are empowered to use estate assets for home improvement projects. Spending estate assets could deprive beneficiaries of their inheritance and result in litigation against the executor. 

Estate properties may present other problems. A home that remains vacant for a while could exhibit problems such as plumbing or electrical defects. If not discovered in time, these defects could cost a lot of money to repair. Also, home insurance companies might have questions if the house sits for too long without an occupant. Insurers generally have qualms about insuring a vacant home for a prolonged period. 

How an executor handles real estate will depend on the situation involved. The complexity of handling real estate is why some executors ask an attorney for assistance. Because estate matters concerning property will differ, read this article as general information and not as legal advice. 

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