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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Setting the Value of Property in Probate by Agreement Between the Heirs

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: Hawaii

    I financially assisted my brother's neighbor for a year with probate (he was on SSI, wheelchair disabled). During that time, I was looking to buy a home in the area, so we had setup a verbal agreement that I would assist him and he would sell me his mother's property after he gained ownership. He passed away about two months after gaining title of the property and we did not complete the agreement. The cousin had agreed to assist in selling the property to me after he goes through the same probate process. Two years later, now he is also financially in trouble and Iím thinking to assist him. I've been taking care of the property since helping the decedent, about 3 years total.

    1. Could I file a claim when notice appears in the public paper for the money I lent out during the first probate? Will this add unnecessary costs for the cousin, or hinder and delay the process?
    2. I want to put money into the property to make the place livable. Is a price agreement on the property with the cousin possible while the estate is in probate? I would also like to live on the property if the probate process takes very long.
    3. Will an appraisal before fixing the property be of use for me if I buy the property after the cousin gets title?
    4. Can I collect back what I put into the property if things don't go as planned? Say if the debt isn't paid and the bank sells the property to recoup.
    5. How is the property settled if the property tax and debt is kept being paid and it does not go through probate? If I live on the property after fixing it, and itís still under the decedentís name, how would that ever get corrected?
    6. Can I pay the property tax and debt directly rather than sending a check to the personal representative for him to pay. This is for me to make sure the bills are being paid and the personal representative isn't taking the money.
    7. Any suggestions other than "don't do it"?

    thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Setting the Value of Property in Probate by Agreement Between the Heirs

    If you loaned your friend money and it was not repaid, you can make a claim against the estate just like any other creditor.

    Nobody here can promise you if or when the sale of the house might occur, to whom it might be sold, or what the selling price will be. If it were me, I would get ownership before putting money into the house, lest I end up making a very generous gift to the estate. The same goes for any taxes you choose to pay on behalf of the estate.

    If the cousin inherits the house, then the cousin inherits the house. If you want to buy the house from the cousin and cannot agree on a price, perhaps your appraisal will help convince him as to the market value of the house.

    I don't know how you imagine that the house would be transferred out of the decedent's name without going through probate. Is that just "pie in the sky" wishful thinking, or did you omit the relevant facts from your narrative?

    If you want to buy the house, buy the house. If it's still in probate, you can explore the possibility of buying it out of the probate estate - the administrator can seek court approval for a sale and for the agreed purchase price. If you want to negotiate a contract with the heir(s) so that you might buy the house after probate is complete, I suggest entering into a contract for purchase of the house with those heir(s).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Setting the Value of Property in Probate by Agreement Between the Heirs

    Mr. Knowitall, thanks for the reply. Is there someone on this site that I can pay to create the contract for purchase? Any idea about cost for something like this? Should we find a local attorney or just get a generic contract online? thanks again!

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