Estate FAQs and Answers
- Who signs the real estate documents and agreements?
A. The attorney handling the estate/trust and the title/closing attorney will make the determination on who signs which documents and the wording of the signature. Example: John Smith as Trustee.
- Will there be just one person making all the decisions on price and offers?
A. This will depend on how the trust or estate was structured. The attorneys will determine if there is a trustee, executor or beneficiaries authorized to make decisions necessary to sell the property.
- What if there are several beneficiaries?
A. If there is not an official executor, all the beneficiaries have a “say” in how a property is sold. Usually there is one member of the family that will take the lead on the minor decisions that need to be made when selling a property.
- What are major selling decisions?
A. Options such as: asking price of property, larger repairs of property necessary to maximize the selling price, and acceptance of the final negotiated offer. These are agreed upon by all the beneficiaries.
- What would be some of the minor decisions?
A. These are more of the “day to day” type of issues: Upkeep of the property, cleaning, lawn care, coordination of showings, and review of marketing materials.
- How do the beneficiaries sign documents?
A. Family members living in the area may either come into our offices or we will be glad to come to them. Whatever is most convenient for you.
- How do the beneficiaries sign documents if they are not in the same city?
A. Federal and State laws now allow the majority of the legal real estate documents to be signed using electronic signature programs. All that is needed for beneficiaries to “Esign” the paperwork is an email address. It is a very simple and user friendly system. You can even use your smartphone.
- What if someone does not use a computer?
A. The necessary documents will be prepared and clearly marked where the signatures are needed. They will be sent by express mail or courier to wherever the family member is located. A prepaid return envelope will be included. We are glad to review the paperwork over the phone with all family members at a time convenient to them.
- What happens on the actual day of sale?
A. The family members that live in the area, come to the title company to sign the final documents. Individual family members may sign a day earlier if that is more convenient. All the beneficiaries do not have to be in the same office at the same time.
- What about the beneficiaries out of the area?
A. The title company will arrange for a locally certified mobile closing agent to meet them at their home, office or wherever location is convenient for the family members to sign. The closing agent will review the documents and answer any questions.
- When will the proceeds from the sale be distributed?
A. Proceeds may be distributed between the beneficiaries the day of closing or deposited in the trust/estate account. This depends on how the trust/estate was created.