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I Can’t Believe I Have to Wait on Probate!

Recently, I met with clients who’d entered into a sales contract to buy a new home. They were so excited about the layout, location and price of the house, and they anxiously awaited the closing date. Unfortunately, just days before the closing, the seller died unexpectedly.

Now, how would they close? Was their contract in jeopardy? Would they have to renegotiate a new contract at a higher price? Even if they could still buy the house, how long would they have to wait until the probate court approved the sale of the home and they could close and move in?

Owning the home in a revocable trust could have easily solved this dilemma. You see, when assets (including real property) are owned by a trust, and the initial trustee dies, the successor trustee can step right in and follow through with pending contracts. In my clients’ case, if the home had been owned in trust, the closing could have occurred on time, and my clients would be living in their new home right now. And as important, the seller’s family would have immediate access to the proceeds of the sale.

If I can help you or a friend with the creation of a revocable trust or other estate planning needs, please contact me at (813) 244-7758 or


Ross Spano

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