What happens to a property when someone has died and it was being purchased from a private party? 24 Answers as of December 21, 2012

My father-in-law passed away about a month ago. He was buying property from a private party and we were wondering what happens to the property?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
Your father's estate could complete the purchase of the property. To do this you would need to have a probate estate opened and a personal representative appointed.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 12/21/2012
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
His estate can still buy the property if it wants to.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 12/20/2012
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
Was the property fully purchased? If so, the property becomes part of the estate. If not, the property of course cannot be purchased by the deceased and the executor would need to get the money back.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/19/2012
Martinson & Beason, PC
Martinson & Beason, PC | Douglas C Martinson II
If there is a binding contract (in writing), the estate can perform under the agreement or can be sued to perform on the agreement. It would be enforceable.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 12/19/2012
Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
The Purchase and Sale Agreement is now property of the Estate.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 12/19/2012
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    The right to purchase should pass to the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/18/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    There are at least two ways this deal could have been structured, and your answer is different depending on what was done. Basically, though, the devisees or heirs of the decedent succeed to his rights in the property. Begin the probate of the decedent's estate, as the first step to answering this situation. Someone will need to keep paying on the purchase obligation, or the seller can foreclose.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/18/2012
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    If there was a closing on the property, and the title was clear, then your father-in-law owns the property. If not the seller continues to own the property. However, there may have been some specifications in the sale of the property. I would suggest you consult an attorney that handles real estate.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/18/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    The property belongs to his estate and the terms of the contract are still in effect. Hence, payments must continue until the property is dispose of.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    You must look to the terms of the sales agreement. Hopefully, it was in writing. Your financial plan is not complete until it is co-ordinated with your estate plan. Will your family be provided for when you are gone? Without a Will, the court will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    You have to look at the terms of the contract. It may say. If not, the rights devolve to the estate of the deceased party.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    DENKER & BUTLER, PLLC | RICK DENKER
    His interest in the property will belong to his estate. It may be necessary to have a personal representative appointed by the probate court to take charge of the property.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    The answer will depend upon how far along the purchasing process your father-in-law was when he passed away. If no agreement was reached, then the deal is off. If the papers were signed but no payments made, it may be up to the other party to decide to continue the deal. If some payments had been made, the property is likely to be part of your father-in-law's estate.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    It depends upon the underlying contract's terms. You need to have the contract reviewed to determine the next steps. For instance; do you simply lose the security deposit, are losses determined by the amount the seller now sells the home for, can the seller force you to close, can you force the seller to close, etc.? These are all possibilities depending upon the contract. Chances are you will need to have a personal representative put in place by the probate court to address the issue. This inquiry really requires a one on one consultation with counsel who can address the specific issues your father's estate faces.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    The property was in contract, and therefore a property right that should be included in the petition to probate, to determine if the estate with beneficiaries consent, wants to complete the purchase contract. However, the seller may want to cancel the contract and the administrator of the estate will need to have court authority to agree to a cancellation. The real question will be whether the property would have significantly improved the value of the estate; if not, then you may want to consider a petition to abandon the contract and allow the property go back to the seller.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    Need more details. Did he buy it, or just sign a contract?
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    It depends on the purchase agreement. If it provided that it terminated on his death, then the earnest money should probably be returned to the estate and the deal terminated. On the other hand, if there is no provision for terminating the transaction because of your father's death, then the personal representative for the estate will have to negotiate a resolution - either continuing to buy the property or terminating the sale. This may result in the loss of the earnest money deposit.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston | Edwin Fee
    Depending upon whether there was a contract in place and whether the seller wants to complete the transaction, the estate may be able to purchase the property.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Was he buying under a land contract or a mortgage? Normally, the agreement would determine the relative rights and powers. In most cases, as long as payments continue to be made, the seller is not likely to care. You want to review the contract to make sure that the purchaser's interest can be assigned, however.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
    If your dad was under contract to purchase the property, and then he dies before completing the purchase, then his estate is also bound to comply with the purchase or the seller will suffer damages as a result of the breach of the contract. The estate will have liability if it fails to complete the contract.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    The property, and the debt, go into his estate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/17/2012
    Kram & Wooster, P.S. | Richard H. Wooster
    It turns on the parties' agreement. The rights under the purchase and sale contract belong to the estate. Those rights should be determined by the court. A probate will have to be opened to establish the rights.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/17/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney