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Navigating Estate Property Sales: Expert Support for Personal Representatives


Supporting Personal Representatives in Estate Property Sales

Losing a loved one is undoubtedly one of life's most challenging experiences. Amidst the emotional turmoil, there arises the responsibility of managing the deceased's estate, including the sale of property. At Hunsberger Dunn LLP, we recognize the complexities personal representatives face during this time. Allow us to guide you through the process, ensuring a seamless transition while fulfilling your fiduciary duties.


Understanding the Role of Personal Representatives

When someone passes away, their belongings and property become the responsibility of their personal representatives. This includes the task of selling any property owned by the deceased. One common scenario we encounter involves properties in dire need of repair, prompting the personal representative's desire to expedite the sale process. However, in their urgency, they may overlook critical obligations tied to their fiduciary duty.

Valuing the Property

One of the initial steps in selling estate property is to determine its value. This valuation serves multiple purposes, from assessing inheritance tax liabilities to establishing a fair market value. Seeking valuations from local estate agents is a common approach, providing insight into the property's worth. However, for estates with complex tax implications, specialist valuations may be necessary.


Navigating the Sales Process

Once the property is valued, the sales process can commence. Personal representatives must approach this stage with diligence and transparency, ensuring compliance with legal obligations. Personal representatives are often burdened with properties in deplorable conditions, plagued by mounting bills and looming mortgage payments. Fearing foreclosure, they seek swift solutions, often tempted by direct offers from investors or acquaintances. Yet, amidst these challenges, personal representatives must uphold their fiduciary duty – a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the estate's beneficiaries. Herein lies a common misconception: the belief that selling a property "as is" exempts them from engaging with real estate professionals.


Seeking Professional Support

While personal representatives hold overall responsibility for estate matters, they need not navigate the process alone. Seeking support from professionals such as solicitors, estate agents, and auctioneers can provide invaluable assistance. Our team at Hunsberger Dunn LLP specializes in probate property sales, offering tailored guidance to personal representatives. Personal representatives must recognize that marketing the property is not just advisable but legally mandated. Failure to do so can result in severe consequences, including legal repercussions. By engaging a realtor, personal representatives fulfill their obligation to expose the property to the market, determining its fair market value. Moreover, this ensures an "arms-length transaction," where the personal representative maintains no prior connection to the buyer, safeguarding against potential conflicts of interest.


Ensuring a Smooth Transition

Ultimately, the goal of selling estate property is to facilitate a smooth transition for all involved parties. By adhering to legal obligations, seeking professional support, and approaching the process with diligence, personal representatives can honor the deceased's legacy while protecting the interests of beneficiaries.


How Can We Help 

Selling property after the death of a loved one is undoubtedly a challenging endeavor. However, with the right support and guidance, personal representatives can navigate the process with ease, ensuring a smooth transition for all involved parties. At Hunsberger Dunn LLP, we are committed to assisting you every step of the way, empowering you to fulfill your fiduciary duties while honoring the legacy of your loved one.


Through collaborative efforts and informed decision-making, we can navigate the complexities of estate sales, securing optimal outcomes for estates and beneficiaries alike. Let us help you navigate this journey with compassion and expertise.



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