Yes, if the deed to the real estate was in your parent’s name only.
When a person dies owning real estate in his/her sole name, then the real estate must go through the legal process of Probate Court administration to legally transfer the title to the real estate to the heir (if no Last Will) or to the beneficiary (if there is a Last Will) of the deceased person. The administration of the decedent’s estate becomes part of the legal chain of title for the real estate. This is necessary to show good title for the heir or beneficiary. This is also necessary to transfer good and marketable title to a person who may buy the real estate in the future.
The interest in the real estate actually passes on the date of death to the decedent’s heirs. This avoids any gaps in title. It does make the heirs responsible for the expenses of the real estate, including real estate taxes, as of the date of death. However, if the amount of debts of the decedent is greater than the value of his assets, then the real estate is subject to the claims of the creditors. In such a situation, then the real estate may have to be sold to pay the debts of the decedent. If the heirs want to have the benefit of holding the real estate then they could use their own money to pay the debts of the decedent.
Upon the death of the person owning the real estate, it is important to safeguard the real estate for its physical and financial protection. That is why it is important to file for the appointment of the estate’s fiduciary in the Probate Administration as soon as possible. The different types of Probate Administration are Waiver of Administration and Regular Administration. Waiver of Administration is a simpler process and is granted in certain situations. Regular Administration requires the filing of an Inventory as well as an Account or Summary Motion. The Probate Estate must remain open for a minimum of six months from the date of the court’s appointment of the fiduciary. The fiduciary is known as the Executor if there is a Last Will, or the Administrator if no Last Will. If the value of the assets in the Probate Estate is greater than $25,000 then the court will order that a fiduciary surety bond be purchased from an insurance company to safeguard the assets for the heir’s benefit. The approval of a fiduciary’s surety bond is linked to the person’s credit rating, and if there is a poor credit rating then an attorney’s oversight of the financial details may be required.
If you’re interested in talking with the attorneys at Welts, White & Fontaine PC about estate planning, including wills and trusts, business buy sell agreements, and adult guardianships please contact us by clicking here or by calling (603) 883-0797. Welts, White & Fontaine is one of Nashua’s largest, multi-practice law firms and serves the legal needs of both individuals and businesses in towns such as Amherst, Milford, Hudson, Brookline, Windham, Hollis, Merrimack, Litchfield, Bedford, Londonderry, Pelham, and, of course, Nashua.
Author: Valerie Raudonis
This blog is intended for informational use only. The information contained herein should not be construed as offering legal advice or a legal opinion.