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Today I want to address the passing of loved ones and the subsequent process of clearing, preparing and selling any real estate that the surviving spouse and/or heirs no longer want to maintain. At our real estate firm, Investments In Sarasota, we’ve been helping families tackle the complexities of liquidating their real estate holdings in this highly stressful and emotional time.
Our goal with each situation is to be present for our clients to expertly guide the process. While each circumstance is unique and personal, we have created processes that work to minimize the anxiety of clearing and preparing the property for sale, ensure the descendants are protected against future liability and maximize the financial return based on our know-how on the most effective ways to prepare and position the property.
There are three key stages in this process that we would like to highlight here:
1) Clearing the Contents of the Property and Presenting it for Sale
After family and friends have been able to claim the items of sentimental value, we have the resources to repurpose the personal effects, furniture, and accessories- whether it’s donating to charities directly or doing the estate sale and then having the proceeds go to the family or charity that meant the most to the deceased. We also consult with the family to determine what work will present the property in the best light to maximize the return at the point of sale. Our recommendations are tailored to each individual situation. This may include cosmetic improvements, strategic upgrades, deep cleaning, etc. When the heirs are not local, we are available on the ground to help to facilitate and ensure all work is executed smoothly.
2) Protecting Heirs from Future Liability
We structure the deal in a very special way to either reduce or eliminate any future liability. This is done in the selection of the contract used, fine-tuning the terms of the contract, and preparing certain disclosures. For many, the actual sale of the property is the hardest part due to sentimental attachment and an abundance of memories from time spent there. Part of the selling and closing process is finding time for the last visit to the property that may be for a meal, gathering, or short vacation for surviving family if wanted or needed.
3) Ensuring Correct Documentation is in Order
Finally, our legal team ensures that all the correct documents are in place. The settlement agent may need things such as the death certificate, the estate tax clearance, the trust document, and/or the trust affidavit. We understand the Florida Statutes which are applicable to handle the nuances that may not be known to the heirs. For example, if there may be liabilities, things such as bankruptcy protection continue through the surviving spouse, but not to heirs. Once the property has closed- the goal is to be able to move forward gracefully at least from this part of the estate.
Fortunately, life expectancies do increase while living in Florida because of the vibrant and active lifestyle that our residents enjoy year-round. However, it doesn’t go on forever.
We specialize in working with estates to provide the full spectrum of support for these highly emotional transitions. Whether you want to know the value of the property, understand its rental potential, or decide to sell, we are here to support you: 941.587.0740.