When probate of the estate is almost complete and real estate remains in the estate, as personal representative, or executor, of the will, you may want to remove the remove property out of the estate and either convey it to the intended devisees under the will or to a third-party purchaser. Although title to the property actually passed to the devisees or heirs upon death, you may choose to convey the property by deed to clarify the county real property records.
Convey the property in your capacity as personal representative of the estate to the intended devisees under the will before closing the estate. The estate attorney should be able to prepare the necessary deed for the conveyance. Sign the deed in the presence of a notary public who will properly acknowledge your signature according to state law. Once the deed has been properly executed, either give it to the grantees, or devisees, for filing in the county probate records or file the deed yourself. The county will charge a filing fee at the time of filing.
Have your attorney prepare a deed in which all devisees under the will as well as yourself as personal representative are conveying the property to you in the event you are acquiring the property from the estate. A title company will be less likely to question a deed in a future transaction when the property is being conveyed by all of the devisees to you instead of from yourself in your capacity as personal representative to yourself individually.
Convey the property from yourself as personal representative of the estate to a third-party purchaser in the event an unrelated person is purchasing the property from the estate and the proceeds are being divided. In order to convey as personal representative, however, you must have been given power to sell by the terms of the will or have been granted this power by court order. In the event the will doesn’t grant you power to sell and there is no order, all devisees under the will must also sign the deed to the purchaser. In some states, there is a statutory claims period during which creditors against the estate may file claims against the assets. Any title company or attorney insuring the sale to the third party and handling the closing may hold the money from the sale in escrow until such time as they are satisfied that there are no claims against the estate and all creditors have been paid.
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images