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Estates and Real Estate, Who’s the Seller?

"Hi Tony. I hope you are doing well this afternoon. I need some help with a question. I am working with two sellers. They are sisters whose mother recently passed away and they are selling their parents home. The deed for this home still names their late father and recently passed mother as the owners. They are in the process of probating the estate. One of the sisters is the sole executor of the estate, is unmarried and local. The other sister is married and lives out of state.

The question: Who do I name as the sellers of the property? “The estate of _dad_ and mom_” ? and is the executor’s signatures and initials the only ones I need? Or do I have to name as sellers; Sister 1, Sister 2 and the one spouse? and get everyone to sign?"


I’d love to give you a simple answer but the problem is it depends on the Will, if there is one.

If the property is left to the heirs, it becomes their property as Tenants in Common from the moment of their mothers passing. Both sisters are the seller and they should both be on the contract.

If the property was left into the residuary estate, then the Estate owns it and the executor of the Estate should be on the contract and should sign all sellers documents.

If their is no Will, the rules change again. The property will pass to the appropriate heirs by the North Carolina Laws of Intestacy, in this case, it will again probably be both sisters. But without more info, I am not certain of this either.

The property is either in the Estate or passes directly to the heirs, but by either analysis, it must remain available to the Executor incase the Estate has insufficient assets to pay all of the Estates debts. This question must be addressed first.

If the sisters have an Estate attorney, that is the next phone call. If they are trying to do it alone, they should probably call me.

Other undisclosed details can again effect the analysis. Call if you would like talk, or have the Executor call.

This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, Law Office of Tony Fisichella , or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.