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Estate Sales in New York

When an individual passes away, their real estate holdings at the time of their death generally become a part of their estate. The estate can encompass diverse assets, including personal belongings, vehicles, financial products, and real property. Estate administration is the legal process of settling an individual’s affairs after their passing. This includes identifying and valuing assets, settling debts and taxes, and ultimately distributing the remaining assets to heirs and beneficiaries. The responsibility falls to the executor or estate administrator to manage and ultimately disperse these assets.

Selling real property (or a cooperative apartment) owned by a decedent in New York State can be a complex and emotional process. At Holm & O’Hara LLP, our experienced real estate attorneys are dedicated to assisting family members and estate fiduciaries (executors, administrators, and trustees) through each step of the process.

Selling Real Estate in New York

Selling real estate owned by a decedent in New York unfolds through several key stages, each requiring careful legal and administrative handling, particularly when probate is involved.

Appointing an Executor

The initial step involves the appointment of a fiduciary (and an executor if the decedent passed with a valid will, or an administrator if the decedent died absent a valid will). The fiduciary (executor or administrator) receives a court-certified document serving as legal proof of their authority to manage the estate’s affairs.

Administering the Estate

Once appointed, the executor’s next step is to assess the necessity for probate, a court-supervised process to validate the deceased person’s will and oversee the distribution of assets. When probate court is required, the executor must secure court permission, known as a “grant of probate,” to proceed with the sale of estate assets. The executor then administers the estate, a process involving consolidating assets, paying off debts and expenses, settling any final taxes, and distributing the remaining balance.

Selling Real Estate within the Estate

Selling real estate on behalf of the estate involves additional steps. The executor must first acquire a property valuation and list the property for sale, usually through a real estate agent. Crucial parts of this process include negotiating offers with potential buyers and ensuring all contracts are sound. It’s essential for the executor to settle any property-related debts and obtain a clear title before finalizing the sale. The executor may also need to obtain an appraisal of the property from a qualified third party.

Closing the Estate

The final stage of estate administration is closing the estate. As part of this process, the fiduciary may be compelled to prepare an accounting, which details every financial transaction within the estate. This accounting is presented to the beneficiaries of the estate for review. If the accounting is in acceptable form, the heirs sign it, acknowledging their agreement with the executor’s handling of the estate and their acceptance of their inheritance shares.

Why Work with an Attorney

New York State law regarding probate and estate administration involves navigating complex legal procedures. For those seeking to sell estate assets or sell a house within an estate efficiently and compliantly, it is crucial to consult with a New York probate administration lawyer experienced in estate matters. An attorney skilled in this area can offer vital guidance on the most effective approach to selling real estate as part of an estate, ensuring adherence to state regulations and court procedures and helping to resolve any related disputes or complexities.

A probate attorney interprets complex legal documents, provides guidance on obtaining necessary court approvals, and represents the estate in any litigation matters that may arise. Their knowledge ensures that the rights and interests of the estate and its beneficiaries are safeguarded throughout the process.

Estate Litigation

In some cases, disputes may arise during the estate sale process. Our estate attorneys are well-versed in handling estate litigation matters and can protect the interests of the estate and its beneficiaries.

Personal Representative

The appointment of a personal representative or executor is a critical step in estate administration. Our attorneys are available to assist in the selection of a suitable representative and provide comprehensive guidance on fulfilling their duties and responsibilities.

How Our Attorneys Can Assist You Through the Process

Our dedicated attorneys handle both probate and estate administration matters in addition to providing comprehensive assistance throughout the estate sale process. Our team can assist with everything from appraising the property and selling assets to handling negotiations between beneficiaries and other interested parties. Our work includes:

  • Navigating the probate process efficiently
  • Ensuring that estate assets are sold in compliance with state laws
  • Handling any estate litigation matters that may arise
  • Protecting the interests of the estate and its beneficiaries
  • Collaborating with real estate agents and other professionals to sell the property

Work with an Experienced NYC Real Estate Attorney

If you are tasked with the administration of an estate and it includes the disposition of real property in New York, partnering with an experienced real estate attorney is essential. Our team at Holm & O’Hara LLP brings a wealth of experience in estate and probate law. We are committed to providing personalized legal services to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible for family members and executors.

Holm and O’Hara LLP is a boutique law firm with a proven track record of assisting clients in estate administration, estate sales, and many other areas. Reach out to us today and let our experienced team guide you through every step of the process.


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