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CAN I SELL MY DECEASED PARENT’S HOUSE?

CAN I SELL MY PARENTS HOUSE NOW THAT THEY ARE BOTH DECEASED?

The answer is it depends. If the house/apartment is in one parent’s name alone and they passed away or the house/apartment is in both of your parent’s names and they both passed away; then no, you cannot sell it and probate must be done.  An attorney must be hired and the probate process begins. I received a call this week from a daughter trying to sell her father’s house. I was referred to her by her real estate attorney, who knew that nothing could be done unless the probate court either approved the sale or declared the real estate homestead, thus, passing the property directly to the children. The problem in this case was the daughter wanted all of the money from the sale and she had a brother. Thus, either elect homestead status and avoid creditors and share the sale proceeds with your sibling; or petition the court to approve the sale of real estate and distribute the sales proceeds by her father’s will giving everything to his daughter and nothing to his son, but receive no homestead creditor benefit and thus, the sales proceeds are subject to creditors, if any.  

WHAT IS HOMESTEAD IN MIAMI-DADE AND BROWARD COUNTY?

To elect homestead or not to elect homestead is an easy choice for most people. Homestead is a special Florida bonus that benefits people who choose to live here and make Florida their state of residency. Individuals or couples can apply for homestead at the property appraisal’s office in the county in which they live or do so online. The application usually requires proof of address for voter’s registration, vehicle registration, and Florida driver’s license and all three are checked to make sure they match the home address in which the person applies for the homestead exemption. Once the application for homestead is accepted, the homeowner’s receive tax benefits and slower increases on future property taxes. In Miami-Dade County, the website is http://www.miamidade.gov/pa/exemptions.asp.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HOMESTEAD AND HOW IS MIAMI-DADE PROBATE EFFECTED BY THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION?

Aside from the tax benefits during the homeowner’s life, if they are still living in that property and it constitutes their homestead, there are further benefits at the time of death. Exempt homestead real estate may pass to a spouse or lineal descendants outside of probate and is usually exempt from creditors. Of course, a probate attorney must be hired and assist in this process. Once hired, the probate attorney may petition the court to determine homestead. 

CAN I STILL KEEP HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION IN DADE OR BROWARD COUNTY IF I MOVE MY REAL ESTATE INTO A REVOCABLE TRUST? 

Yes, you can maintain the homestead exemption with a revocable trust. Estate planning and using a  revocable trust would have helped the daughter in the story above by allowing the house to pass directly to her at her father’s death, with no need for probate court involvement; saving her privacy, time, and money. Estate planning using revocable trusts are a great solution and if funded properly, avoid the need for both guardianship and probate court.

WHY SHOULD YOU USE ALLY GLASER, PA TO HANDLE YOUR WILLS AND TRUSTS, ESTATE PLANNING IN MIAMI BEACH, TRUST ADMINISTRATION, AND MIAMI-DADE AND BROWARD PROBATE MATTERS?

As a Miami Beach Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Trust Administration, and Probate Attorney with over twenty years of experience and both a Psychology and Law degree, I handle these matters with care and sensitivity. I am familiar and comfortable with both the Broward County and Miami-Dade probate court system and know how to get things done. Call or email me today to discuss your Miami Beach Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Trust Administration, and Broward or Miami-Dade County Probate matters.  I am happy to help you and your loved ones.