The Probate Process for a House in Wilmington – How to Avoid Getting Scammed

probate process for a house inProbate is simply the process of administering a decedent’s estate. Most of us have heard the stories about how long and headache filled the probate process usually is, and we dread it when we actually have to face it.

The reality, though, is that done right, the probate process for a house in Wilmington can be as simple as four easy steps. The flip side is that both the dread and simplicity often open people up to certain probate scams. Let’s take a look.

The Probate Process for a House in Wilmington – How to Avoid Getting Scammed

Probate Process for a House in Wilmington

Without the right kind of trust in place, probate usually follows a person’s passing. Probate is the process by which the decedent’s debts are settled and his or her property (held on his or her name alone and not otherwise legally distributed) is transferred to beneficiaries and heirs.

Typically, the probate process follows four steps.

  1. The first step involves filing a petition with the probate court to admit the will and appoint an executor or, if there’s no will, to appoint an administrator of the estate. A hearing date is set, and notice of the hearing is published locally.
  2. After being appointed by the court, the decedent’s personal representative gives notice to all creditors, and an inventory of the estate is made.
  3. After determining which claims are legitimate, the personal representative pays all expenses, debts, and taxes from the estate. Sometimes, this involves selling estate assets to meet obligations.
  4. Assets (legal title to a house, for instance) are disbursed according to the decedent’s wishes expressed in the will or, in case there is no will, according to the state’s intestate succession laws.

And that’s it for the probate process for a house in Wilmington and for the entire estate as well. Just be wary about any scams that may pop up along the way.

Common Probate Scams

These are some new twists on old scams that owe their re-birth (and effectiveness) chiefly to the Internet and email. They always, however, target the vulnerable.

  1. Probate Avoidance Scam – The perpetrators of this scam usually target the elderly. It involves persuading victims to buy fraudulent products that purport to help them avoid probate, for example, a very expensive living trust kit. Once the scammers have the money in their hands, they either never deliver or provide a product that is actually legally useless.
  2. Inheritance/Estate Tax Scam – Some states still levy an inheritance or estate tax. Using a trusted person’s or organization’s name, scammers contact potential executors/personal representatives informing them that they stand to inherit a bunch of money. The only catch is that – because in these states the tax must be paid before probate can go forward – the victims must first send the scammers an inflated tax.
  3. Fraudulent Listings Scam – This one owes its effectiveness to the popularity of sites like Craigslist for home shoppers, especially renters, and applies particularly to the probate process for a house in Wilmington. Scammers research the property of recently deceased individuals and advertise it for rent. Then, when the scammers collect the deposit and first month’s rent, they disappear, leaving the people engaged in probate to deal with the upset victim.

If you’re facing probate, especially the probate process for a house in Wilmington, it’s probably not as ominous and frightening as it first seems. Knowing what it involves and being aware of the common probate scams are good first steps – but there’s more to consider.

If you’d like to learn more about probate and how to get through it smoothly, contact us by phone at (910) 218-8138 or fill our simple form.

Jerry

Jerry has been involved in real estate for over 10 years. He graduated High School and enlisted in the Army, where he excelled in the Elite Army Rangers. Unfortunately, he sustained a major injury during a training exercise and was honorably / medically discharged after 4 years of service. He decided to attend Appalachian State University for both his undergrad and grad school with emphasis on Systems Engineering and Virtual technologies. He went on to work for multiple fortune 100 companies as an Engineer. Jerry stumbled into real estate investing with his father after deciding to fix up an old house down the street from his childhood home. After that house Jerry never looked back. Since then Jerry has helped hundreds of homeowners in selling, buying, and renting properties. Jerry has a GREAT team that works day in and day out to help homeowners sell their properties to local investors like himself. Contact Jerry info@homebuyers-nc.com

Get More Info On Options To Sell Your Home...

Selling a property in today's market can be confusing. Connect with us or submit your info below and we'll help guide you through your options.

Get Your No-Obligation Offer!

We Buy Houses and Land! There are No Commissions, No Fees, No Closing Costs, No Repairs/Updating, and No Obligation. We pay for everything! Fill out this quick form to see if your property qualifies...
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.