Estate Sale Lawyers

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What is an Estate Sale?

An estate sale is any type of auction, yard sale, or garage sale that is meant to dispose of all or a significant portion of a person’s estate.  A person’s estate is the sum total of all their possessions and assets, including both personal and real property. 

Estate sales are governed by that body of laws that regulates estate administration (the management of one’s estate).  Estate sales are also known as “estate liquidation” or “estate liquidation sales”.  Thorough estate planning efforts will include instructions on conducting an estate sale if it becomes necessary to do so.    

What is the Purpose of an Estate Sale?

There may be several reasons why an estate sale is conducted.  The most common reason for an estate sale is the death of the property owner.  In the event that the property cannot be distributed according to a will, the property may be sold in an estate sale. 

Other common reasons for an estate sale are:

Thus, an estate sale can either be voluntary or mandatory under estate laws.  Estate sales can also be executed according to directions contained in the party’s last will and testament.

Who Conducts an Estate Sale?

Estate sales are usually conducted under the direction of a professional who takes a percentage of the revenues.  This person is called a “liquidator” and may be in charge of various aspects of the sale, such as labor, security, research, and advertising.  A professional liquidator is often necessary because the project can be overwhelming to the estate holder and recipients of the proceeds.

It is common for the holder of an estate to appoint an administrator to oversee their estate.  This administrator may then be required to find a liquidator to assist with estate sales.

Because there are several different parties involved in an estate sale, the terms of the sales are usually finalized into a contract.  The contract will typically list important provisions like the percentage of fees that a liquidator may collect, as well as the distribution of the profits from the sales to various beneficiaries.  In order to avoid obstacles such as fraud or error, it is best to hire a lawyer to draft and review the estate sale contract.

How can a Lawyer Assist with an Estate Sale?

Estate sales are often very comprehensive projects, since they involve the sale of all or nearly all of a person’s belongings.  An estate planning lawyer can help you with various aspects of the sale, including negotiations, contract drafting, and providing legal advice.  Also, your attorney can help ensure that your sales are conducted fairly and that any agreements are not subject to fraud.

If you need help with an estate sale, you can contact a local estate lawyer to assist you with your needs. 

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Last Modified: 08-25-2014 05:37 PM PDT

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