Gordon/Clifford Realty, Inc

Probate FAQ's

What is probate?
Probate is the legal process for the transfer for assets-houses, cars, stocks, bonds, boats, etc, from the deceased person’s name to his or her estate so they can be sold or distributed to the heirs.  

How long does probate take and who is involved in the process? 
Probate takes approximately 9-18 months, and is handled generally by probate court in the county of the decedent’s residence.  The personal representative (known as the PR) is the person or entity charged with the responsibility of administering a decedent’s estate.  The PR is usually named in the will as an executor/executrix.  If there was no will an administrator/administratrix is appointed by the court.  The PR is charged with the fiduciary responsibility of gathering the assets and paying the debts of the decedent in such a way that the beneficiaries or heirs of the decedent receive the maximum inheritance.  The PR will usually hire an estate attorney to handle the legal aspects of the probate.  It is very helpful when the PR hires a certified probate real estate agent to assist with the sale of estate property to guide them through the process of selling estate property.  

How and why are estates sold in probate?
Estate property may be sold by the personal representative (known as the PR) when the sale is necessary to pay debts, devises (gifts to persons named in the will), a family allowance, expenses of estate administration or taxes.  If specified in the will, the property must be sold according to the terms of the will.  If the will is silent on estate property matters or there is no will, the PR may select the method of sale and the particular property to be sold.  Estate real property may be sold by private sale, public auction or a different method specified in the will of the decedent.  A private sale is one in which bids or offers are independently solicited.  A public auction invites concurrent competitive bidding.  Some probate administrations require court confirmation.
How we can help you?
Our sales staff is certified by C.P.R.E.S, Certified Probate Real Estate Specialists, and can guide you through the probate process, ending in the final distribution of funds from sale proceeds.  We understand this can be a very stressful and emotional process and we are prepared to ease some of the burden.  We can help you prepare your property and price it for a fair market sale.  Our office has a team of licensed and insured vendors that we can put in place to help with painting, plumbing, removal of belongings or any type of repair needed to get your property ready.  We can help streamline communication with multiple family members and coordinate with attorneys.  We will take care of listing your property, preparing the marketing material, showing your property and handling the necessary paperwork to complete the sale.  We can anticipate and help solve problems before they become delays. We will be by your side throughout the entire process.  
Do all probates require court confirmation? 
No, estate real property sales by a personal representatives with full authority do not require court confirmation.  
Can an overbid happen at a court confirmation?   
Yes, at the confirmation hearing, the original sale may be subject to being overbid by another purchaser (unless the sale is under full authority). Another prospective purchaser may attend the confirmation hearing and submit to the court a higher written offer, called an "overbid," to purchase the real property. The court will confirm the sale to either the original bidder or to an overbidder and normally approve payment of the brokerage commissions. Title will pass to the successful buyer only after the terms of sale have been met, the court has confirmed the sale and the personal representative has executed a conveyance to that buyer.  


Is there a minimum amount required for an overbid if the property during court confirmation? 
Yes,  The initial overbid must exceed the original bid according to the following formula: 

·         The amount of the original bid, plus

·         At least 10 percent of the first $10,000.00 of the original bid; plus

·         At least 5 percent of the amount of the original bid in excess of $10,000.00.

If the original bid returned to the court for confirmation is for $100,000.00, then the initial overbid must be for at least $105,500.00 (10 percent of the first $10,000.00 = $1,000.00; plus five percent of the remaining balance of that bid of $90,000 = $4,500.00; $1,000.00 + $4,500.00 = $5,500.00 which must be added to the original bid of $100,000.  The resulting minimum overbid requires is $105,500.  ($100,000 + $5,500).

The minimum amount of increase required after the first overbid will be set by the court at the time of the confirmation hearing.  The court will accept bids in much the same manner as an auction until the highest bid available has been made at the confirmation hearing.

If one prospective buyer bids a lesser cash amount and another prospective buyer bids a higher credit amount, the court cannot consider the higher offer unless the personal representative informs the court in person (or by counsel prior to confirmation of the sale) that the higher offer is acceptable.