Selling An Estate Through Probate with Jeremy Wilson of Clear Title, LLC

Selling An Estate Through Probate with Jeremy Wilson of Clear Title LLC
Bob Allwein:
Hi, we’re at Clear Title in Frederick, Maryland today. And we are discussing probate and what the most important things are to understand about probate when selling a property that has been inherited. We’re with Jeremy Wilson, who is the managing partner at Clear Title. Thank you, Jeremy, for talking with us today.
Jeremy Wilson:
My pleasure.
Bob Allwein:
Okay. So can you just tell us, what is probate, in general?
Jeremy Wilson:
Sure. When someone passes away, someone has to be assigned to tie up the loose ends of the person who passed. That’s either done through a Will, that you take that Last Will and Testament to the Register of Wills and you’re given the authority to act because the deceased named you as Executor of the Will.

In the case that there’s not a Will, you take the death certificate, still go to the Register of Wills and they give you letters of authorization, which then allow you to act on behalf of the estate. And it’s the judicial or the court supervised, administration of someone’s estate, to make sure that everybody does their job the right way, bills are paid, and those loose ends are tied up. Bob Allwein:
Got it. So what are the three most important things someone that is involved in probate, needs to understand?
Jeremy Wilson:
Well, just because you’re named in the Will, or you were your late mother’s favorite or their only child, doesn’t give you the authority to act. A lot of people think that because they’re the only son or daughter, that then that automatically enables them to act and it doesn’t. You must go to the Register of Wills and be given the authority, you can’t act unilaterally. And before you do that, any attempt you have to sell any property, will be stopped very quickly because no courts, no title companies, would be open to allow that to take place.

The second thing is that, you have to know that you are acting on behalf of the estate. You can’t act in your best interest. You can’t even act in the heirs best interest. You are acting on what’s best for the estate, especially the descendant, so your decisions have to be made in accordance with that law. And that leads to the third thing which is, if you don’t act in the estates best interests, and you do things that are not allowed under the laws regarding being a personal representative or an executor, you can be sued by the heirs for any wasted money. You can also be brought before the courts and get in trouble for that, as well. When they ask you why you did it and you have to properly account for that money. And those are the three things that I think, will get things started in terms of what you need to know, if you’re going to act as a personal representative or executor. Bob Allwein:
Got it. So once someone has determined that they are the authorized personal representative and they’ve gone through the estate and it involves selling a piece of real estate-
Jeremy Wilson:
Right.
Bob Allwein:
… what should they do next, once they determine that they want to sell it, they have the authority to sell it and they’ve picked someone to sell the property to?
Jeremy Wilson:
Well, once they identify that, they need to keep that paperwork and provide it to the title company, Clear Title, for instance, because we are going to demand it before we’ll take another step.
Bob Allwein:
Got it.
Jeremy Wilson:
They’ll sign the contract with Maryland Home Cash Buyers and then you’ll send that contract over to us. You might as well include all of those letters of authorization and death certificates, that’ll keep the ball rolling and make things much smoother for you and for the seller, that all that information has been passed along to us. Then that saves us time and having to pull it ourselves and go search around and try to determine if that that person has the authority. And then from then on, that person just has to know, to continue to work in the best interest of the estate, continue to pay the bills, continue to take care of the property. And then, through the end of settlement, that will then allow them to sell the house with no other problems.
Bob Allwein:
Got it. So if somebody wants some help with that entire process, or you’re just not sure where to start-
Jeremy Wilson:
Right.
Bob Allwein:
… they’re not sure if they’re the personal representative and they want to reach out to you for some help. How would they go about doing that?
Jeremy Wilson:
Very easy. They could simply give us a call. I know you’re going to provide that to the viewers. They could email me, jeremy@cleartitlemd.com. If they feel more comfortable coming in, in a secure setting with attorney client privilege, we can do an in-office consultation. It’s very straightforward. The rules are very easy to follow and the folks at the Registers of Wills, all over Maryland, are very helpful and I can give them an overview of what it takes to be a personal representative. And if they’ve got other issues beyond that, we can certainly talk about it and get those resolved as well.
Bob Allwein:
Got it. Thank you very much, Jeremy.
Jeremy Wilson:
You’re welcome.
Bob Allwein:
If there’s something we can do to help you with the sale of the estate of your property, please reach out to us on our webpage and we will put you in contact with Jeremy or reach directly out to us. Thank you so much. Have a good day.
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