Can You Live in the House During Probate?

Losing a loved one is a challenging experience, and while coping with the emotional aspects, there are also practical matters that need attention. Ensuring that affairs are in order becomes essential, especially if you have to navigate the California probate process. One common question that arises is whether you can continue to live in the house while it’s in probate. In addition, concerns about the mortgage may surface, particularly if the deceased was solely responsible for the payment.

In this article, we delve into this topic and shed light on what you can expect.

Yes, But it’s Time to Start Making Other Arrangements

Living in the house during probate is indeed possible and most estate representatives prefer that someone live on the property while it is going through probate. If you live in a home that is going through the probate process, you probably will not be removed until the estate is finalized and ownership of the home is transferred to a beneficiary or beneficiaries.

However, if one beneficiary lives in the property to the exclusion of others who also inherit the property, litigation may result between them.

In California, any property owned by an individual is subject to probate, including real estate. This process can take several months, and in some cases, even years if legal issues arise such as:

  • owns the home jointly with other people,
  • the deceased individual was already renting out the home before he or she died,
  • the estate does not have any other assets apart from the home and has significant debts,
  • the home was transferred into a trust and not subject to the probate,
  • ambiguities in the will,
  • estates with more debts than assets,
  • estates with unresolved claims,
  • the discovery of multiple wills.

While you can continue living in the house during probate, the timeline and specifics of the process might necessitate considering other housing options. The executor’s responsibilities, such as asset valuation and sale, could lead to eventual property sale, and it’s essential to be prepared for such a scenario. It’s best to begin making alternative arrangements sooner rather than later.  Likewise, the need to make the assets of the estate productive may result in the Estate Representative seeking to evict you or to receive some form of rent in order to pay the mortgage.

Getting Guidance

If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, navigating the legal and jurisdictional complexities of real estate going through the probate process can be overwhelming. That’s why The Kiken Group and Dale Kiken, probate attorney in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles CA, offers invaluable assistance in understanding the legal intricacies involved. The Kiken Group can guide you, ensuring you are making informed decisions regarding your living arrangements and other aspects of the proceedings.

While living in the house during probate is possible, it’s essential to be proactive and prepare for the future. Just remember, this process is a step toward settling your loved one’s affairs and ensuring a smooth transition for everyone involved.