Step #2 - Identify the estate executor and notify all interested parties

Just because you’re an heir to your parents’ estate, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re a decision maker when it comes to selling the house.

Before you can sell the house, you need to identify all the heirs, and find out which one is the named executor or personal representative who is authorized to make decisions about the home sale

If your parents’ will, or the probate court, has appointed a personal representative (or executor, or administrator), then that person will typically call the shots when selling your parents’ home.

Heirs aren’t the only parties interested in the dispensation of your parents’ estate. If they owed debts when they passed away, those creditors will need to be paid (see Step 5).

The personal representative is responsible for notifying their deceased parents’ creditors, and paying those debts, often from the proceeds from the sale of the house.

Typically, 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 the best-case scenario when selling a house as part of the settlement of an estate with multiple heirs.

When all heirs have equal say in what happens to the house, it can result in years-long legal battles and costly attorneys’ fees.

Step 3 in the process is to handle inheritance disagreements before they become heated.