Real estate title best held in revocable living trust

Dying without a will impedes sale for co-owners

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DEAR BOB: My husband and I purchased an investment property in June 2004 with a friend. We held the title as tenants in common. The friend died in February 2005 without a will or trust. The property has appreciated nicely in market value. However, because of the delays in the probate process, it appreciated an additional 15 percent to 20 percent since his death. We want to sell the property and divide the proceeds with the estate. Does the estate receive 50 percent of what the property was worth on the date of death, or 50 percent of the sale proceeds when it actually sells? – Shirley W. DEAR SHIRLEY: The deceased's estate is entitled to 50 percent of the net sales proceeds. It is a shame the probate process takes so long and costs so much, thus delaying the property sale. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. The situation you describe shows why it is so important for every real estate owner to hold title in a revocable living trust so their estate can avoid probate costs and de...