How to Deal with Your Parents Stuff When They Die

How to Deal with Your Parents Stuff When They Die

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Although losing a parent is not anticipated, but the fate of their stuff is also important. What happens in the event you lose your parents?  What happens to their stuff? Since this is an event that comes along grief you might not be able to think clearly which is okay. Do you know the steps on how to probate a will in NY? Reach out to our best probate lawyer in NY for a probate lawyer free consultation and you will be dearly helped.

About Steps On How to Deal with Your Parents Stuff When They Die

How to deal with your parent’s assets when you die can be made easy with the help of the best estate lawyers in NY. If there is a self-proving will, the transfer will be very simple. However, there might not be the case. If it is so, you need a probate lawyer to guide you on how to probate a will in NY. At this time, you certainly know details on their property and whether they did something in preparation for their death. If they had an already established estate plan or not. If yes, there must be some documents such as the living trust or a will.  If there is, then ensure their wishes are honored. If there are no such estate plan documents, then you are free to reach to us for help. With our highly trained team of probate lawyers, your parents’ stuff will be secured. Nevertheless, there are various steps below for you on how to deal with your parent’s stuff when they die. They include:

STEP 1:  Establish The Status Of Your Parents Estate

You have to know the steps your parents took to give ownership of the inherited assets before thinking about what to do with the assets.  Your parents must have done estate planning in the event of their death.

There are primarily three ways to inherit property from your parents:  through the probate process, by a transfer on death deed, or via a living trust.


Probate is a court-supervised process to deal with someone’s property when they die.  All of the deceased assets and debts together are called her estate.  Probate is done so that the proper people are granted responsibility for the estate, and so that your parents’ debts get paid as part of the process.  While probate laws vary from state to state, expect a complex process to take a while, from several months up to a year or two.


Also known as a beneficiary deed, this type of deed lets you inherit property directly and immediately without the time, hassle, and expense of probate.  With this type of deed in place, you can proceed with the sale of your parents’ home as soon as you are ready.  However, this deed is only valid in some states.  While you can avoid probate with a transfer on death deed, you will need to pay taxes on the house when you inherit in this way.


A living trust is a document designed to streamline the management and inheritance of all of your parents’ assets including the house.  The document names your parents as trustees and you as the beneficiary.

In this case, you can bypass probate avoid some taxes and it sets you up to sell the home immediately.  A trust is usually the best scenario when there are multiple heirs. 

STEP 2:  Identify The Estate Executor AND Notify All Interested Parties

Just because you are the heir to your parents’ stuff, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are the decision-maker.

Identify all the heirs, and find out which one is named the executor.  If the will or the probate court has appointed an executor, then that person calls the shots.

Other parties interested in the dispensation of your parents’ estate may include creditors if your parents’ owed debts to them.  The creditors are supposed to be paid.  The estate attorney will already have this information.  However, it makes sense to ask your real estate agent to run a title search too.  A title search may find invalid judgments that you’ll need to fight and have dismissed before selling the house.

A single decision-maker is a best-case scenario when selling a house as part of the settlement of an estate with multiple heirs.  However, in some cases, no such decision-maker is appointed, which means all heirs will have equal say in when and how the house is sold.

STEP 3: Handle Inheritance Disagreements Before They Become Full-Blown Disputes

You will need to address potential points of conflict early to save yourself time in the process.

Your best bet is to list out every heir’s duties during the settlement of the estate and come to an agreement on a fair division of the proceeds even if not equal.  If you can’t come to an agreement on a fair division you appoint a professional mediator.  In this case, you are to sell the property, hire an experienced agent in selling inherited houses. Ensure the agent has probate sales experience.  The agent has to reside in the city your parents resided.  An out-of-state agent cannot be licensed to sell real estate in your parents’ home state, and they won’t have access to the local MLS to pull accurate comps when pricing the house.  Or you can sell the house by yourself through for sale by owner.  Here you have to ensure you price the house properly and market it widely.

STEP 4:  Sort Through Your Parents Personal Finances

Along with your parents’ properties, you are inheriting the property’s debt and ongoing bills.

Get access to the financial accounts you’ll need.  If all of your parents’ bills will be paid automatically with a direct debit, you’ll need to ensure that there’s enough money in their account to cover those charges until the house sells.

STEP 5:  Run Title Search If Necessary

Sometimes, a deceased parents’ home will have liens or judgments attached to the property, such as taxes that are arrears, a home equity line of credit, or a reverse mortgage, thus you may need a title search to identify such.

STEP 6:  Submit The Death Certificate

Submit copies of your parents’ death certificates to creditors, the credit bureaus, and the social security administration.

STEP 7:  Review The Home’s Insurance Policy

If the house is going to be free you have to change the insurance policy.

STEP 8:  Secure the House

Along with ensuring that you have the proper insurance, you may consider taking steps to secure the most important documents and valuables.

Along with ensuring that you have the proper insurance, you may consider taking steps to secure the most important documents and valuables.

STEP 9:  Understand The Tax Implications Of Selling The House

Inheritance and estate taxes are two similar taxes on inherited property.

Dispense your parents’ personal property before listing the property for sale.

Distribute what’s owed to the heirs.

Clear out the rest of the house with the estate sale

Prepare the house for sale.

FAQs: How to probate a will in NY.

What is the probate process?

Is a court-supervised process to deal with someone’s property when they die.

What is an estate?

An estate comprises all assets and debts of the deceased.

What is estate planning?

This is the preparation of tasks that serve to manage an individual’s asset base in the event of their incapacitation or death.

What is the right of survivorship?

In a situation whereby property was co-owned in the event of death, ownership passes to the surviving owners.

What is a valid will?

A will is valid if it was made and signed appropriately under the laws of the state.

What happens if the deceased were married?

In this case, the living spouse will likely take the entire estate, half as his community and half as her next of kin.

What happens if there is no will and was not married?

Any children would take the entire the in equal shares.  If there are no children, it would go to her parents, her siblings, and grandparents in that order.

Why should I notify all interested parties?

This helps find the executor and also creditors if your parents owed debts to any person.

What’s the importance of handling disagreements before they become full-blown disputes?

This helps save money and time, also helps reduce the risk of losing your property to someone.

 Why should I run a title search?

This helps ensure there are no liens or judgments attached to the property.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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