Probate Investing

Written by Jared Vincenti
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When an estate goes to probate, the possessions contained therein are distributed among the heirs to the estate. The property is divided between the heirs as specified by will, or in absence of will, by state law. However, if the deceased was in debt at the time of death, his possessions will be sold by the executor of the estate to pay off the debts.

Buying Property in Probate

When part of the estate must be sold, it is up to the executor of the estate to sell it. State laws specify the order in which assets must be sold, grouped by general category such as savings, investments, and real estate. Alternately, a will may specify the order in which the deceased wishes his assets to be sold.

In either case, it is up to the executor how to go about selling property. If one of the heirs or another relative wants to buy specific items in probate, the executor will usually sell those under private sale. There are laws that supervise these sales, though, so that the heir must pay a fair market price for the assets that they are acquiring.

If no private buyer can purchase an item in probate, it goes to public auction. Many people are able to obtain real estate and other valuables by buying items at an auction. Most probate items are sold at public auctions, which must be published in local papers. If you are interested in probate investing, just keep an eye on the newspaper--you're sure to find a good opportunity.

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