Selling a House After Death of Parent: Estate Sales and Emotions
Selling a house after death of a parent can feel overwhelming with everything you have to do. Learn how to manage an estate sale and the mixed family emotions that may arise while getting the job done.
Sam Wilson and his team are experienced estate sale Realtors® who work with personal representatives, trustees, financial agents, conservators, CPAs, financial managers, estate planning, and probate attorneys in the Denver metro area. This team understands the emotionally challenging aspects of selling a house after the death of a parent and the complexities involved in caring for aging parents before death.
In some cases in addition to a home, vacant land, rental properties, commercial or business properties must also be sold. This team is well-versed in all aspects of estate sales and understands how to work with attorneys, family members, and others involved in selling a property after death. Realtors on the Sam Wilson Home Selling team excel in compassion and understanding the needs of grieving families.
Support Navigating Change and Loss
Sam has a personal connection and an interest in helping families navigate losses and health changes through his personal, business experience and also his wife, Pamela D Wilson. Pamela is a recognized worldwide eldercare expert and remains a certified senior advisor and a certified guardian.
She managed the health and financial matters of clients in the Denver metro area for more than twenty years as The Care Navigator and in her prior non-medical home-care business. Serving as the trustee for her parent’s estate, court-appointed guardian, agent under a power of attorney, and care manager for elderly and disabled clients in the past, she serves as an informational resource for agents on The Sam Wilson team.
Contact Sam today to learn more and receive additional resources and support for managing a real estate sale when parents or loved ones have passed away. Call or text 303-770-1250 for a prompt response.
Selling a House After Death of a Parent: Estate Plans and Estate Sales
Creating an estate plan is part of planning for aging, needing care, and eventually deciding who will take care of property after death. Unfortunately, not all aging parents create an estate plan. Some wait until after the first spouse passes away to make plans for daily and belongings. Planning for the end of life is not a popular topic, so this fundamental matter is often delayed or left uncompleted,
If your parents created an estate plan and you are the decedent’s next of kin, personal representative, or trustee, here are things you should know about selling a house after death of a parent.
Contact Your Parent’s Estate Planning Attorney
If you have never managed an estate and want support handling financial and property matters, contact your parent’s estate planning attorney or hire a probate attorney who can advise you. Many attorneys have a list of to-do’s about setting up an estate bank account, how to pay bills, cancel credit cards, file for life insurance policies, advise social security, and the long list of other tasks awaiting.
Your estate planning attorney may be a good source of resources for cleaning out the home and attending to other property matters like temporarily arranging a lawn or snow removal service. Attorneys can also recommend a reputable real estate agent for selling a house after death of a parent.
Sentimental Aspects of Estate Sales
Cleaning out the house after the death of a parent can be emotionally challenging. Sorting through personal belongings, family photos, and other memories can be a positive activity if done with amiable brothers and sisters. If parents did not create a list of who gets what—and there are no valuables identified as gifts or items of significant value—invite siblings and other family members to come and remove items that are sentimental or of use.
If your parent or parents had pets, and no decisions were made about pet adoption before death, deciding what to do with dogs or cats can be another gut-wrenching decision. If no one in the family can take the pets, there are pet adoption agencies in many parts of the United States specializing in placing pets from persons who have died in good homes. In some cases, a pet trust may be part of a parent’s estate plan to ensure that dogs or cats have a good home.
Estimating the Value of Household Belongings
While family members may think that household belongings will bring large sums, this is often not the case. Making an appointment to have an estate sale company visit the home will confirm if furniture and other items have any value. In addition, the estate appraiser can advise if having an estate sale makes financial sense.
When selling a house after death of parent, it may turn out that items have little or no resale value. In this event, scheduling a donation service may be the best option. For articles not donation appropriate, make arrangements for delivery of a roll-off so that you or a service company can clean out the house after items of value are removed may be the most efficient way to dispose of items of little value.
Managing a Vacant Home
While the home is vacant until the sale, you will want to ensure the property is secure and appears lived-in. Changing the locks, adding light timers or outdoor light sensors, setting timers for watering the lawn, or even installing a home security system may be wise, depending on the time frame to prepare the home for sale.
As the personal representative or the trustee, you have a fiduciary responsibility to use estate funds responsibly. Having this legal responsibility means that if your parent’s home is dated or needs significant repairs, you will want to consult with a real estate agent who can give you a price opinion and discuss the increased sale value of making repairs.
Gaining Agreement for Selling a Home After Death of Parent from Siblings
The idea of selling mom or dad’s home may be more emotional for some brothers or sisters. However, suppose a sibling is interested in buying the house, and you, as the personal representative of the estate or trustee, commit to fulfilling your fiduciary responsibility—in that case, the home must be sold or transferred at market value.
But, what if a sibling is relying on the inheritance as the downpayment for the home, or some other arrangement must be made? The Sam Wilson Group has worked with all types of estate sale transactions and uses their fiduciary responsibility to negotiate the best outcome for families involved in real estate sale transactions.
Disagreements about hiring a real estate agent are common. For example, siblings may want to hire a friend who is a real estate agent instead of a knowledgeable and experienced impartial realtor. Know that fiduciary responsibility includes avoiding any conflict of interest, including hiring a realtor in the family or a realty agent friend of a brother or sister.
Squabbles over the listing price and other aspects of the real estate deal are typical if siblings are self-interested or angry about any part of a parent’s estate. It is the role of the personal representative, trustee, the estate sale realtor, and the estate attorney to work together to resolve potential conflicts that may thwart selling a house after death of parent.
Closing an Estate in Colorado
Closing an estate in Colorado involves more than selling a house after death of a parent. While the Colorado court website has instructions, working with an attorney to make sure that all of the details of closing an estate in Colorado can give you peace of mind that no tasks have been forgotten.
Checks, letters, and information from companies involved with a parent can take months or a year or more to resolve. If siblings are insistent on receiving their share of an inheritance sooner rather than later, an estate planning attorney can offer guidance on how to manage these requests while keeping an estate open so that you can manage ongoing details.
In all matters relating to estate planning and the death of parents, working with professionals who have expertise in real estate probate sales, financial advisors, CPA, and attorneys can offer peace of mind that you are administering the estate according to the wishes of a parent.
If you are seeking help in selling a home after the death of a parent, Sam Wilson and his team can offer a real estate market price opinion, and a list of resources to help you that include probate and estate planning attorneys and companies who can help with cleaning out a home, repairs, locksmiths, painters, and other tasks for getting a home ready for sale.
Knowledgeable, Experienced, Professional, and Compassionate Estate Sale Support
To You From Sam Wilson: I’ve helped hundreds of families work through the emotional responsibilities of selling the family estate properties. I have a network of attorneys and other service providers to help with difficult tasks associated with preparing a property for sale.
I know how to maximize your family’s hard-earned equity. As a way to give back to a community I’ve served so earnestly, I am always available for a free, confidential, professional, and knowledgeable consultation about how to sell your family’s estate property.
Please don’t hesitate, here’s my personal cell phone number. 303-770-1250. I promise you that this is not a tactic to sell or convince you to hire me. It’s not. It’s just a heart-felt offer to help you through an emotional time of life when knowledgeable support can give you peace of mind.
The Sam Wilson Home Selling Team specializes in estate and property sales in the Denver metro area, including Lakewood CO, and Jefferson County Colorado, including Arvada, Aspen Park, Conifer, Edgewater, Evergreen, Genesee, Golden, Idledale, Indian Hills, Ken Caryl, Kittredge, Lakeside, Lakewood, Littleton, Morrison, Mountain View, West Pleasant View, and Wheat Ridge.
© 2021 Sam Wilson All Rights Reserved. Articles by Pamela D Wilson