There are many reasons it’s important to make a will but when it comes to your property and house it’s critical to name an executor. This is the person who is given the responsibility to carry out the terms of the will and protect your assets until all of the requirements are met. In Nebraska, this is often referred to as a personal representative. While every state has its own rules about who can be an executor on an estate, Nebraska has certain guidelines in place for this role and what their timeline needs to be for any house noted in the will. Let’s discuss the details and find out how long an executor has to sell a house in Nebraska.
Role of An Executor and Selling A House:
What Exactly is An Executor?
As stated above, an executor of an estate is a person who has been appointed as the representative and administrator of a deceased person’s estate. Their main responsibility is to carry out the instructions in the will, manage the affairs of the deceased person, and honor their wishes. This person can be appointed by the person who makes the will or by a court if there was no prior appointment noted.
Some of an executor’s specific responsibilities include getting a copy of the will and filing it with the local probate court, notifying lenders and government agencies of the decedent’s death, deciding what kind of probate is necessary, filing an inventory of the estate’s assets with the court, maintaining the property until it can be sold, and paying the estate’s debts and taxes.
What is the Probate Process?
Probate is the process by which an estate is settled under the supervision of a probate court. If there is no will, the court is the one who assigns someone to be the executor, often a surviving spouse or adult child. The purpose of the probate process is to make sure that fraud or misdeeds are limited or prevented following a person’s death. It’s also a way for the court to make sure the will is valid and all the correct people have been notified, and all real estate and the property have been properly appraised. Once all of the debts have been paid and the property people contacted, the court will issue an order to distribute property, thereby closing the estate.
Do All Assets Fall Under Probate?
There are exceptions for certain property that does not pass through probate. First, if an estate falls below a certain threshold, it is considered a “small estate” and does not require a court’s involvement. If the estate’s value falls in the small estate category in Nebraska ($50,000), you can receive a “summary probate” which requires a couple of forms to be filled out before distributing assets.
Second, not every asset falls under probate. Some assets transfer automatically upon death, including a joint tenancy home and financial accounts with beneficiary designations, such as an insurance policy.
Third, if the deceased person created a Living Trust, then the estate will skip probate unless the assets outside the trust are more than Nebraska’s small estate limit.
How Long Does an Executor Have to Pay Creditor Claims?
One of the most important things an executor must do is make sure the deceased person’s debts are paid out of the estate’s assets. They will send a notice out to anyone with an interest in the estate, which includes lenders and creditors. The court clerk will publish this in a local newspaper letting creditors know they have 60 days to make their claim for any debts owed under Nebraska law. The executor then has four months after the initial publication to dent any inappropriate claims.
How Long Does an Executor Have to Pay Taxes on the Estate?
Nebraska will levy an inheritance tax on the estate so the executor needs to file a tax return within one year of the owner’s death. This process is skipped if the estate’s ownership moves to a spouse. However, if taxes are due, they should be paid for the next April 15 deadline within a year of death. While Nebraska doesn’t have an estate tax, you’ll still need to pay the federal estate tax if the estate is worth more than $5.3 million. If so, you have nine months to pay that, though you can request an extension.
How Long Does an Executor Have to Sell a House in Nebraska?
In general, a probate case in Nebraska will take between six to nine months to complete. But all of that assumes that the executor is moving quickly to get everything that needs to be done quickly.
One of the most important things an executor can do is take control of any real estate property as soon as possible. First, you want to ensure that the property is being taken care of and is in working order, especially if no one is going to be living in it for the foreseeable future. It’s a smart idea to change locks and have mail forwarded in order to cut down on the chances of tampering or squatting.
Once you’ve settled that you have time to collect all the documents you’ll need to complete debt repayment, including property taxes, bills, and loans.
If you have the means and time, you’ll want to have the house cleared out, cleaned up, and staged so that it can be presented in the best condition possible to buyers. At the very least, remove personal items that do not help in the sale of the house. If there are other beneficiaries included in the will, set these items aside so that they can be distributed afterward.
You are somewhat at the whims of the market, so it’s important to decide how quickly you need the house sold and whether or not you need the proceeds to satisfy any further debts or agreements.
If there are no financial obligations that the sale of the house needs to meet, you may want to consider selling the house as-is directly to a real estate investor. They will make a fair cash offer on the property, not require any further repairs or renovations, and will close on the sale in a matter of days. This major part of the probate process can be wrapped up quickly and all parties can move on to the next steps with their lives.