Questions About Buying From a Deceased Owner/Executor

Hi everyone,

I have a decent land deal locked up but I’m not sure how to close it. I’ve tried to include as much detail as possible below:

The original owners (a married couple) lived in New Jersey and purchased the lot in Colorado in July of '81. The husband died in 1987. The wife passed in 2012 and left a last will and testament naming someone as the executor. The executor lives in New Jersey. I have copies of both death certificates and the notarized document that names the executor. The executor has agreed to my price and would like to move forward with the sale.

Does the cashiers check get filled out in the executors name or the deceased wife’s name? Does the deed have the deceased wife’s name on it or the executor?

I’m lost here and don’t want to create any issues with the title when I sell it. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

@troy Have you considered a title company close.


@karljames I have, but the deal is small and using a title company will cut into the margins quite a bit.

Is the 2012 probate still open? It has been almost a decade. If it has been closed, the executor is no longer in charge and the property has been distributed to the heirs. Maybe the executor is the sole heir and acting in that capacity?


You might try calling the county recorder’s office and ask them what would be needed to record the transaction successfully.

Based on that, you may glean some insight as to who is being recorded as the selling party, which might help clarify who to make the check out to (though there is no guarantee this will work).

All things being equal, seeking advice from a title company or attorney would probably be ideal.

Do you have a relationship with one in the state this particular property is located in?

The title company I do most of my business through in Florida is happy to answer questions like this for me, even if I end up closing outside of them on a particular transaction.

If you have a relationship established with one, your solution may be as simple as a quick call or email.