Mccullough & Mccullough

Estate Administration
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2 risks for out-of-state executors of estates with real property

Although Arizona and Florida are arguably the states best known for high densities of snowbirds, they are far from the only state where retirees flee from colder Northern climates. Texas has quite a few older adults pursuing the later stages of their career or their golden years there after living most of their life in another state.

Those who live and then die in Texas when they have family members and other states can create some unique probate challenges. For example, if the executor named to handle the estate lives in Minnesota or Ohio, they will either need to relocate or secure local support during estate administration. Out-of-state executors have difficult challenges to overcome, including the two below related to the real property someone owned when they died.

They need to secure the property

One of the very first steps that someone should take after the courts have authorized them to act on behalf of an estate is to locate and secure the most valuable property. Real property is very valuable, and it can be a target by local criminals after someone dies.

Burglars and teenagers planning parties may take advantage of the space that they know to be vacant. They may cause major property damage. The cost to insure a vacant property is often higher because of those risks, and properly securing the home will be necessary to keep people out until the probate process is done.

They need to work on the property

An executor should maintain estate resources and maximize them to whatever extent possible. Trying to get as much value as possible out of large assets that you will sell on behalf of the estate is important. It can be a challenge with real estate transferring as part of an estate.

The property value starts to drop the longer the home sits empty. Additionally, especially if the owner was an older adult, their taste in amenities may mean that repairs and upgrades are necessary to maximize the property’s value on the market. Hiring someone to do that work or to stay in the home to protect it from vacancy can be a very difficult task to manage while living in another state.

Those hoping to handle estate administration while living outside of Texas will usually require the support of a Texas probate attorney. Identifying challenges you may face during estate administration will help you more effectively handle the responsibilities involve despite the distance.

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