Keep Your Family’s Future Secure

Securing a relative’s home during probate

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Trust And Probate Administration

An executor has a duty to maintain property and other assets to prevent them from suffering damage or destruction before they pass to beneficiaries. If you serve as executor for a deceased family member, you may find this is especially true for the home your loved one lived in.

Fortunately, it is not hard to come up with ways to preserve a home until the time comes for you to transfer it to an heir or sell it and split the proceeds among the estate beneficiaries.

Put new locks on the home

It is possible that you will not account for everyone who has a key to the house. Over time, your relative may have given out keys to trusted neighbors and friends. Installing new locks could help you limit who can access the residence so you do not have to worry about unexpected intrusions.

Limit signs of vacancy

Possible thieves could pick up on signs that your relative’s home has no occupant. Reducing signs of vacancy may diminish the chance of break-ins. One way is to pick up mail from a mailbox so that it does not overflow. Maintaining the lawn is another step, to eliminate overgrowth that may indicate that there is no owner to keep up the yard.

Also check for unlocked windows and doors. They may also indicate the absence of an owner, so securing them could act as a deterrent. Putting in security cameras can also alert you to unwelcome visitors to the property.

Obtain vacant home coverage

Despite your efforts, someone might break into the home or at least cause some kind of damage to it. If so, you might expect that the home insurance policy will provide coverage, but many insurers balk at covering a vacant home. You may have to get in touch with the insurer to find out if you can acquire a vacant house policy until you can transfer ownership of the property.

Probate involves legal responsibilities to heirs, so wise planning and taking actions to secure property from harm is often a necessity when administering an estate.