October 19, 2017

Managing Real Estate Assets …

If the Deceased owns a house or other real estate, there are some basic steps you will want to take immediately to ensure the security of the real estate asset(s). Consulting a a lawyer about these steps is critically important and should be done sooner rather than later.

That said there are some basic steps you will want to take immediately to ensure the security of the real estate asset(s).

Here is a list of the most important first steps:

  • Change the locks to ensure that no unauthorized people enter the property.
  • Confirm that there is adequate insurance on the property.
    • If the property is vacant, a Vacancy Permit should be obtained from the Insurance Company.
    • In many instances, Insurance Brokers will advise that no formal Vacancy Permit is required provided that the home is inspected regularly.
    • You should insist on obtaining the Vacancy Permit as most Insurance Contracts indicate that one is require if no one is residing at the property regardless of how frequently the property is inspected.
  • The property should be inspected regularly whether or not a Vacancy Permit is obtained.
  • Ascertain whether or not there is a Mortgage on the property and ensure that mortgage payments are made.
     

Now that the real estate asset(s) are secure, you will need to determine whether the Deceased was the sole owner of the property or whether they owned the property jointly with someone else (perhaps their spouse).

If the property is owned by the Deceased alone, you should speak with a lawyer concerning the transfer requirements for the property.

If the Deceased owned the property jointly with another person, the property generally will pass automatically to the surviving party (subject to certain exceptions). You will probably need a lawyer to assist you in completing the necessary documents for the Survivorship Application.

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