Selling a House in Probate Kentucky [What is the Probate Process for Selling Real Estate]

selling a house in probate louisville ky

If you’re considering selling an inherited house in Kentucky and would like a fair cash offer complete the form below. Or, keep reading to learn more about the probate process in Kentucky.

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This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.  If you’re looking for legal guidance to understand probate law in Kentucky we recommend speaking with a probate attorney specializing in Kentucky probate proceedings.

Can I Sell a House While in Probate Proceedings in Kentucky?

Yes. In certain situations, you can sell a house while in probate in Kentucky.

Keep reading and we’ll expand on this further below.

Table of Contents:

sell my probate house Kentucky

Kentucky Probate Real Estate Guide

If you’ve recently inherited a home in Kentucky or been named the executor of an estate, you may be wondering whether you can sell a house during the probate process or avoid probate entirely in Kentucky. The answer can vary based on your specific circumstances. To make sure you’re informed on what to expect we’ll go over what probate is and everything that might happen if you want to sell a Kentucky home that is currently in this process.

If you own valuable assets, it’s a good idea to plan for who will take care of them after you’re gone. This is where the court process of probate comes into play. Let’s talk about what probate is and what probate laws looks like in Kentucky.

What is the Definition of Probate?

Probate is a legal process that the deceased person’s estate may go through. Probate distributes a person’s assets according to the specific instructions in their will or revocable living trust but if they didn’t have a will probate court distributes the assets according to Kentucky state law. It is possible to avoid probate in Kentucky but if a large asset like a house did not have a surviving spouse or named beneficiary, it will likely need to.

What is Probate

What is the Probate Process in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, most estates have to go through probate court, unless they are under a certain combined asset value, are part of a revocable living trust, are held in joint tenancy or are otherwise set to be distributed without probate court involvement to a surviving spouse or named beneficiary. Estates with assets of a deceased person that are valued at $15,000 or more will also typically have to go through the probate process in Kentucky. For an estate under this valuation it’s more likely to bypass probate processes in Kentucky but you should consult with a Kentucky probate attorney who’s an expert in local probate laws.

The process of probate in Kentucky is fairly straightforward, though it can become more complicated with a larger estate containing many assets of value.

  1. First, a petition to open probate is filed with the local probate court, in Kentucky this is managed through County Clerks Office, after a person dies. At this point in the process, there is usually a court hearing to name someone to act as executor of the estate. The executor will typically either be the person named as such in the will of the deceased person or immediate family members if they did not name an executor.
  2. Once an executor has been chosen, they must notify all heirs and creditors, typically by providing a death certificate, and start taking inventory of the decedent’s assets included in the estate. This includes appraising any assets of value, which can include real estate and obviously bank accounts. In Kentucky, the executor usually has 60 days to get this done.
    • If you’re named executor of an estate, it’s a good idea to work with a Kentucky probate attorney to help you work through this probate court supervised process. A local Kentucky probate attorney will have valuable experience that can make the task of settling an estate much smoother.
  3. Next, the executor must pay any taxes or outstanding debts owed on the deceased person’s assets included in the estate. Once that is complete, the remaining assets can be distributed to heirs or sold by the probate court in the Kentucky county to settle any additional debts against the estate.

While this is a summary of the probate process in Kentucky it doesn’t cover every nuance. For even more detail on the probate process in Kentucky refer to this Guide to Basic Probate Procedures prepared by the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts.

Probate Court Louisville, KY

The Office of Circuit Court Clerk in your county provides the legal forms required to file a probate case.

In Louisville, Kentucky probate case proceedings occur at the Jefferson County Hall of Justice. It’s located at the corner of W. Jefferson St. and S. 6th St across from Jefferson Square Park.

  • 401 S 6th St, Louisville, Kentucky 40202
  • 3rd Floor, Room 3001
  • (502) 595-4434
Probate Court Louisville KY Map

Probate Court Lexington, KY

In Lexington, Kentucky probate case proceedings occur at the Robert F. Stephens District Courthouse. It’s located at the corner of E. Main St and N. Limestone across from the Lexington Public Library.

  • 150 N. Limestone, Suite D-112
  • Lexington, Kentucky 40507
  • 859-246-2242
Probate Court Lexington KY Map

Why Would a House be in Probate Court?

A home ends up in probate when its previous owner passes away and either leaves it to a named beneficiary via specific instructions in their will or passes away without a valid will. If there is a will, the Kentucky probate process assures assets of the estate are legally distributed to proper beneficiaries according to instructions. If there isn’t, the inheritance of the home is divided up among surviving family members by Kentucky state laws.

What is the Probate Process to Sell a House in Kentucky?

Louisville probate process
  1. If you want to sell a house or other property that is currently in the Kentucky probate process, you must first be the executor or personal representative of the estate in question.
  2. Second, you must have permission to sell the home in Kentucky, either granted by specific instruction in the will or by the probate court. To get court permission to sell, the executor can go to the probate court and file a motion to sell real property if the Kentucky house has already been appraised.
  3. If the probate court approves the petition to sell, the Kentucky property can then be sold to a new owner through a court supervised proceeding.

How Does a Probate House Sale Work?

When a property is sold in a probate sale, it works more or less the same way a regular home sale does, with a few important caveats. One major difference is that the sale is overseen by the probate court rather than an individual seller.

The executor and the probate court will typically work with a local Kentucky real estate agent to list the property, just like a regular home sale. Buyers can then make offers on the house. The probate court will have to hold a hearing to decide whether or not to accept an offer – and even when they do, bidders will have a chance to make offers that outbid the original.

Once a winning bid has been accepted by the probate court and the fiduciaries involved with the sale approve, the Kentucky home can be closed on by the new owner.

Can an Executor Sell a House Before Probate?

No. After the death of the house’s previous owner, no one has the legal right to sell the Kentucky property until probate begins and an executor is named.

How Long After Probate Can I Sell a House?

The Kentucky probate process can take anywhere from six months to more than a year. If you inherited a house through the process of probate, either as an heir or the executor of an estate, you are legally permitted to sell the property as soon as it is transferred into your possession. As the executor, this can be during the process of probate. As an inheritor of a property, you will need to wait until the Kentucky property passes through probate into your possession.

If you’ve inherited a Kentucky property you’re looking to sell, check out our simple process for for selling an inherited house in Kentucky.

How to Sell House in Probate, What are My Options in Kentucky?

If you are the executor or personal representative of an estate currently going through the process of probate in Kentucky, you may have options when attempting to sell the house. Let’s break down what they are.

Hire a Real Estate Agent in Kentucky

You can’t engage a real estate agent during probate in Kentucky until you have been named executor of an estate. Once you have, and you’ve gotten probate court permission, you can hire a real estate agent to help you list the home.

It’s a good idea to find an agent who has experience with probate sales in Kentucky since the process differs and can have unexpected difficulties that an agent without experience may not be prepared to handle.

Sell Direct to a Cash House Buyer in Kentucky

When selling your home, one option you may want to consider is accepting the bid of an all-cash buyer in Kentucky. There are many investors that will purchase homes with cash to ensure a quick and easy closing, and many will even buy houses in any condition.

If you want to avoid paying costly real estate commissions and dealing with potential home repairs when you sell a Kentucky house in probate, this can be a great option.

The Bottom Line: Sell My House in Probate

It is possible to sell a Kentucky house during probate, if you’re named the executor of the estate and the home is not promised to any other named beneficiaries. If you’re interested in selling a Kentucky home in probate to a cash buyer, reach out to us online or give us a call at (502) 849-5950 to chat about your options today.

Call us today at (502) 849-5950 to get a cash offer today!

We buy all over Kentucky in major cities like Louisville, Lexington, Elizabethtown, Bowling Green, Owensboro and surrounding areas. Even more rural areas of Kentucky like Frankfort, Georgetown, Richmond, Radcliff, Glasgow, Scottsville and Smiths Grove.  Click here learn more about us and the markets we buy houses, apartments, condos and land.

Hi, I’m Nyx Sherwin owner of We Buy 502. We’re a small, family-owned business located in Louisville, KY and we’ve also called Lexington and Bowling Green home.

We know selling a property can be a long and tiresome process. From repairs, to showings, negotiations and the waiting game to close. We believe there’s a better way to sell real estate that most don’t consider.  

Our process to buy your property is straightforward and simple.

We Buy 502

Nyx Sherwin is the author of this website and a Kentucky based real estate investor since 2007. |

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