Inherit a House in Gladstone – Don’t Get Screwed

Inherited a House in Gladstone?  Do you understand the process of administering the estate and dealing with the property?

What is the Probate Process for dealing with an inherited home?  It’s the legal process by which the estate is closed out, assets are sold or transferred and the bills of the estate are paid.  It’s not all that hard, just takes some understanding and some time.

How to Avoid Getting Scammed When You Inherit a House

Probate Process for a House in the KC Metro

If the deceased did not take the time to set up proper planning to close out his estate, usually with a trust and a will, then the courts will require the assets to go through probate.  Probate is simply the legal process by which the court makes sure the debts are paid and the remaining property and assets are distributed to their heirs.

Usually, there are 4 steps in the process.

  1. First, the court is involved with the executor filing a petition to be appointed an executor of the will or an administrator of the estate if there is no will.  The court will set a date and a hearing will be held to name the executor or the administrator, let’s call them a personal representative.
  2. After the court appoints the representative, then it is their time to give notice to all creditors to send in their bills and the representative will make an inventory of the estate so the court can know what assets there are.
  3. Once all the creditor’s claims are in within the given time limit, the representative will pay all the debts and taxes from the estate.  Sometimes this may require the selling of some assets to pay those debts, assets like stocks, bonds, houses, etc.
  4. Once debts are paid assets are then distributed according to the will or state law in the case of no will.

But throughout the four-step process, there are a few scams that could pop up that you need to know about

Common Scams where the Family gets Screwed

Most scams target those that just don’t know any better, we hope that by providing them here, you will be aware and in the know.

  1. Probate Avoidance Scam – These are usually put into place before your loved one dies and the scammer targets them by persuading them to buy legal documents or kits that they can put into place to avoid probate.  And while having a proper Trust in place can help avoid probate, you want to deal with a reputable firm.  Ask friends and family for a referral to a good, local attorney who can help set up a proper legal trust.
  2. Inheritance/Estate Tax Scam – Some states have an inheritance tax.  In this scam, the perpetrator will pretend to be some trusted legal person and they reach out to fraudulently collect this tax.  Note if you live in an area like this, get advice from the local funeral home or your own attorney on what needs to be paid and to who.
  3. Fraudulent Listings Scam – This one is really interesting and affects just about any house offered for sale.  In this scam, the perpetrator copies your listing of a home for sale and then posts it for rent on all the online sites.  They in effect rent out your house to an unsuspecting renter and collect their first and last months rent.  So, when you have a vacant house for sale.  Check on it regularly.  When you market if or sale yourself or with a Realtor, search the address online every few days and if you see it marketed by someone you don’t know,  go double check on the house to make sure the locks have not been changed.
  4. Stealing the Deed: In this scam, also called deed fraud, noting that the house appears to be vacant the thieves forge documents to get the property deeded into their name and sell the house or pretend to be the deceased owner and sell the house.

If you’re facing probate, it’s not as tough as you might think.  And it is important to note that selling the house in the estate sooner rather than letting it sit vacant for a long time can save you money in taxes, vacant insurance, utilities, and maintenance as well as checking on it to make sure no strangers have moved in.  Check with your attorney and the probate court to find out how to sell before the probate process is complete.  Money in the bank is much easier to manage than a vacant house somewhere.,

If you’d like to learn more about probate and how to get through it smoothly, check out our free book on dealing with an inherited house here on our website.

It was great not having to go in and clean up that unholy mess and worry about disposing of everything.  I hope you guys make a good sale on the property, I’ll be only too happy to refer you to others.

Crystal on the Olathe House

Thank you, Scott, that house has been a stone around my neck for the past ten months.  I’m so glad that your mom friended me on FB and got things rolling, I’ve had a lot of deaths in my family in the past seventeen months,(my father, my estranged husband, and my only sibling–my brother. I have been swamped trying to deal with it all simultaneously.  You guys took me by the hand and drug me through what needed to be done, and I appreciate that.


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