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How to Sell a Condo in an Estate Frequently Asked Questions

When someone passes the way, their property is referred to as their estate. It is the job of the executor of the estate to manage the estate through probate and eventually transfer ownership of the property in the estate to the beneficiaries named in the will. The activities of the executor are overseen by the Surrogate’s Court judge. One of the responsibilities of the executor is often to sell real estate owned by the estate, including condos. However, unlike other types of estate property such as personal property, there are special considerations related to how to sell a condo in an estate that executors, beneficiaries, and other interested parties should understand before starting the process. If you have questions related to how to sell a condo in an estate, contact an experienced New York probate administration lawyer to discuss your concerns.

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process that occurs when someone passes away. During the process, the executor named in the decedent’s will must collect and appraise all estate property including real estate, pay estate debts, including expenses related to estate administration, and transferring property to the appropriate beneficiaries based on the terms of the will. The executor is required to report to the Surrogate’s Court all activities related to the managing of an estate, including all money and property that came into the estate and all money and property that left the estate.

If the decedent did not leave a will, the process is referred to as estate administration. However, concerns and considerations related to how to sell a condo in an estate would still exist in the absence of a will.

If the estate had a value of $30,000 or less, the standard probate process is not required. Instead, the estate is subject to summary probate.

Is a condo always a type of probate property?

As a probate administration lawyer in New York will explain, just because a decedent had an ownership interest in a condo when she passed away does not necessarily mean that the condo is part of her probate estate. A condo would be part of the decedent’s probate estate if it was 100% owed by the decedent. The decedent’s ownership interest in the condo would be probate property of the decedent owned it as a tenant in common with others. However, it is important to understand that only the decedent’s interest would be part of the estate, and not the interest of the co-owners. If the decedent co-owned the condo as a joint tenant with a right of survivorship, then the condo would not be part of the probate estate.

What do I do if I want to sell a condo that is part of an estate?

In order to sell a condo that is part of an estate, you must be the executor or estate administrator. While the property is still part of the estate, only the executor has the power to sell it. The executor may only do so if it is in the best interest of the estate. For example, if the decedent left the estate with significant bills and few liquid assets, the executor may need to sell estate assets including the condo in order to pay the estate debt.

If the decedent named you as the beneficiary who is to receive the condo, you can give the executor permission to sell the condo and give you the proceeds. Or, you can simply wait until the executor transfers title to you, and then sell it yourself. To help you determine the best way for you to go about selling a condo that was willed to you, discuss the details with a New York probate administration attorney.

Can the executor sell the condo if someone is living in it?

Oftentimes when a relative or other individual was living in the property owned by the decedent when the decedent passed away. The executor still has the right to sell the condo if it is in the best interest of the estate. As harsh as it may seem, the executor has the right to ask the individual to leave, even if the individual is a relative of the decedent. If necessary, the executor has the right to initiate eviction proceedings.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The details of how to sell a condo in an estate in New York can be tricky. The executor may need to get approval from the Surrogate’s Court judge before the sale can close. The probate administration attorneys serving clients in New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience working closely with beneficiaries, heirs, and executors to make sure that their interests are protected during the process of transferring ownership of homes and other real estate. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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