The activities related to the probate period are specific in many ways. Understanding how all this bureaucratic mechanism works will allow you to take the appropriate steps without making unnecessary mistakes.
If you are the heir or one of the property’s heirs, you should have insurance for it. This happens when the property reaches a given value on the market. Below a certain amount, no probate is performed at all, or the process is shorter and less demanding.
But let’s assume that the property you inherit is worth enough for the probate process to begin. You should then pay attention to the fact that although it happens that no one lives in the house after the deceased, the building is still exposed to the dangers of e.g., flooding.
As a beneficiary of the property, you have a duty to insure your home. Even if it is in good condition, it can quickly fall into disrepair if left unattended. You need to know how long the probate takes to estimate how long the house will remain uninhabited. This time may be several months or even up to two years, so the period when no one will take care of the house may become significantly longer.
In this article, we will explain why you need to insure the house in probate and how you can do it.
Why Do You Need Insurance During Probate?
An unoccupied estate still requires care and protection against possible accidents. Fire, flooding, acts of vandalism, and theft still threatens your home, and steps must be taken to ensure the property’s safety.
You may need to install security equipment as additional protection, but having valid insurance will surely give you peace of mind.
Depending on the insurer, a standard cover is automatically restricted or canceled after the given period in which the house is unoccupied. It can last 30 or 45 days. This is the main reason why you need to restore a comprehensive cover of the building.
Probate can last from several months to several years, depending on the property’s value, so it is worth providing your home with insurance during this time no matter what.
There are some steps you need to take to provide insurance to a house in probate:
Send a Certificate of the Death
Sending a copy of the death certificate is required to notify an insurance company about an owner’s death. Typically, you will have at least 30 days to file this document, but do it as fast as possible.
Make a Phone Call
After you do this, you can make a phone call and ask about handling your case. Sometimes it may turn out that the insurance is not suspended but may be transferred to your name.
The insurance company can also transfer the insurance to the new owner if the property is sold. It is worth checking all relevant details about the policy as each case is different, and yours may require additional arrangements or documents.
Don’t Keep the House Vacant
The current insurance company must be informed that the house will be vacant. Otherwise, they may charge you as the beneficiary of the property with a special type of insurance for the time the home is empty, which can be costly.
Besides, leaving the property vacant exposes it to theft and acts of vandalism. There is also a risk from other tenants who may want to live in your home as having valid insurance ensures your credibility.
Find a Reliable Insurance Company
Some companies automatically withdraw the insurance after 30 or 45 days when the house is unoccupied. Then it would be best if you find a new insurance company that offers real estate insurance that will apply during the probate.
An uninhabited property is an easy morsel for burglars, but it’s not the only danger you need to protect it from. A house without people is a place that is not heated in winter and is not aired in summer. This can lead to water pipes bursting, fungus formation on the walls, or other faults. Thus the house can slowly become a ruin. It is also exposed to floods, fires, and vandalism.
Ideally, if you as an heir would start the insurance procedure quickly so that the house is protected at the time of probate. Completing all the insurance steps will allow you to enjoy your home in good condition after completing probate paperwork. So do not hesitate and contact the insurance company as soon as possible.