By: Elizabeth Boyette


When a loved one passes away, our job here at Jackson Law is to make the probate process as seamless and as easy as possible for our clients. Losing a family member or close friend is an emotional and difficult time, which is often made more complex by the legal challenges of navigating the estate administration process with the Clerk of Court.

Our first step when a client calls regarding their loss is to assess the nature of the assets, how they were titled, and where the assets are located in comparison to where the decedent was domiciled at death. Our overarching goal is to craft a plan to administer the estate that is as efficient and cost-effective as possible, which can occasionally result in us doing nothing while we take a “wait and see” approach for the heirs to work through transferring beneficiary-designated assets to named beneficiaries.

One of the reasons why we often choose to immediately open a full estate is in instances where the heirs wish to sell the decedent’s solely owned real estate within two years of his or her date of death. For both insurability and marketability purposes, it is necessary to both qualify a personal representative of the estate and publish the notice to creditors such that it runs at least once prior to the sale of the property. This will ensure that the sale is valid as to creditor claims as long as the personal representative signs all seller documents along with all heirs and their spouses.

Occasionally, the heirs also wish to sell real estate owned by the decedent that is located in a different county than the county in which the decedent was domiciled at death. In these cases, we must submit additional filings in that county to clear title, the complexity of which depends on whether the decedent died as a resident of our state or another.

Ultimately, the probate process is confusing and time consuming to navigate without legal experience. Further challenges arise when the heirs sell real property within two years of date of death. To hear even more on this topic, book a presentation with me! I have a presentation titled “Probate Made Sense for Real Estate Agents.” I’m actively helping area realtors with their own planning and their clients’!

For advice specific to your situation, contact me today at!

With this knowledge, now you can Rest Easy.