We understand that losing a loved one is never easy, and dealing with their belongings and property can be overwhelming. After laying your loved one to rest, you’re probably unsure what to do next. There is all their stuff to deal with, including a house or home. Read on, and we’ll explain your options and the steps you must take to deal with your inherited property.
Circumstances Surrounding Inheriting Property
Before we advise you, we must know the current circumstances around the inherited property. The legal motions put in place before your loved one’s passing will significantly dictate the course of action and options you can take along the way. Let’s get started on the process of dealing with inherited property legally, and we’ll explain your options as we go along.
Inheritance Probate Process
Probate is the legal process that takes a deceased estate, all their belongings and assets, and distributes them according to their will or state laws. During this process, they will also cover any outstanding debts or liens left to the heirs of the deceased. This whole process is dictated by local law, so it may be essential to get help from a good probate attorney.
The death of a loved one can be torturous, and the probate process can add to the stress. If you are an estate executor, you may wonder if you can sell a house before probate is complete.
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the state in which the house is located and how the house is titled.
In general, you cannot sell a house before probate if the house is titled in the name of the deceased person alone. In this case, the house must go through the probate process before it can be sold.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, if the house is titled in the name of the deceased person and their spouse, the surviving spouse may be able to sell the house without going through probate. Additionally, suppose the house is titled in the name of the deceased person and one or more other people, such as children or other relatives. In that case, the other owners may be able to sell the house without going through probate if they all agree to the sale.
If you are considering selling a house before probate, speaking with an attorney to discuss your situation is essential. An attorney can help you understand the probate process in your state and advise you on the best way to proceed.
Here are some additional things to consider if you are thinking about selling a house before probate:
- The cost of probate: Probate can be a time-consuming and expensive process. If you can sell the house before probate, you can save money on these costs.
- The speed of the sale: Probate can take several months or even years to complete. If you need to sell the house quickly, selling it before probate may be the best option.
- The wishes of the deceased person: If the deceased person had specific wishes about what should happen to their property after their death, you should try to honor those wishes. If the deceased person wants the house sold, you should sell it as soon as possible.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to sell a house before probate is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer, and the best decision for you will depend on your individual circumstances. If you are unsure of what to do, it is always best to speak with an attorney.
What Are The Options For Inherited Property?
Generally, people don’t consider all their options when they inherit properties. You may find numerous options more beneficial than just selling the property outright. If you sell, you may have a tax on an inherited house. The IRS does give you a guide on what to do if you do sell the property. If you’re unsure if you want to sell, you should know that there are three broad things you can do with the property. So let’s review all the options.
Keep It And Move Into Inheritance Property
Usually, when people do this, it is because of the strong memories attached to the property or the financial benefits really outweigh the current ownership situation. If you don’t own a home and this one was owned free and clear or has a mortgage payment that is lower than your current monthly home payment, it may just benefit you to move into the property.
This could mean taking over the mortgage payment and assuming loan ownership. The appeal of keeping a long childhood home in the family may be significant. You should also consider what would need to be done with the personal belongings in the home. While managing the removal of the belongings, you can decide if you want to move in or take advantage of one of the other options.
Rent The Property You Inherited Out
This can provide wealth advantages you may not know about, such as passive rental income, and tax advantages like deductions. But with it, it does bring a set of disadvantages you may have yet to consider, like managing the property. With it will be the costs of ensuring the property is inhabitable and the repairs that will likely be needed after each tenant moves out. This may be something you need more time to be ready for.
Also, for some, seeing someone else live in their childhood home or their parent’s home can take an emotional toll. Having the property rented so soon after their passing may not be something you want to deal with. It’s hard to know what the emotional tie to the inherited home may present to you.
Sell The Inherited Home
Selling the home is always an option too, and the windfall you are likely looking for. When selling a home you inherited, some repairs are likely needed to occur to sell it on the retail market. No matter the mortgage status, doing the needed repairs will give you the largest sale amount and likely the most all heirs can receive. This can be time-consuming and costly, though. Knowing what to repair and what it can cost will help you decide to make the repairs and sell on the MLS.
If this sounds like more work than you’d like to tackle, you can always sell to a cash buyer like SILT Real Estate and Investments, LLC. We can make the sales process easy and help by giving you a fair cash offer to help you sell quickly so you and the other heirs can deal with the property efficiently. You can fill out this short form so that we can help you get started on selling your inherited property.
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What To Do Before Selling An Inherited Property
After working through your options, there are still a few things you may want to do before you actually go through the inherited property sale. Let’s go over a few of them now.
Clean And Sort Personal Belongings In Inherited Property
The first step may be the most difficult. It’s to clean and sort through the personal belongings of the deceased. Even though it can be very emotional, it’s essential to start to decide what items you want to keep, sell, or even donate.
Sometimes it’s best to have a friend or other family member help. It will allow you to stay on task and get through the items. If you’re still finding it difficult, hire a professional to help you declutter and promptly sort through all the deceased’s belongings.
Hold An Estate Sale or Yard Sale
Once the items have been sorted and you’ve decided what to sell, you can host a yard sale. It’s a great way to make extra cash and declutter the property.
If you don’t feel like hosting the yard sale yourself, you can use an estate sale company. They will generally host the sale for you and take a portion of the proceeds to host the sale. Sometimes, if they feel that they can make money on items that haven’t sold, they may still remove them from the property and take them to a resale shop.
Appoint Someone To Handle The Real Estate Transaction While the Property Goes Through Probate
Someone would be appointed to handle the real estate transaction if the deceased had a will. Though it is not a trust, it is similar to how the court systems deal with inherited property. They will be called the executor of the will.
Without will or trust, the heirs must appoint an executor. As we pointed out earlier, the mixed news about this is that the probate process can take months or even years, so an executor can be appointed later. The probate process will need to be played out before the executor can sell the inherited home for the benefit of the heirs.
Hire a Mediator If Disagreements Occur
The worst in people can come out when inheritance and money are involved. Even if it is with other family members, the heirs may want their “fair amount,” and can cause significant disagreements. If this does occur, consider hiring a mediator to help settle disputes among everyone. A neutral third party can be beneficial in settling those contentions.
Challenges While Selling An Inherited House
There are common challenges you may face during the sales process. It can be emotionally draining and test your patience more than a typical home sale. So let’s review a few challenges you may face and how to handle them.
Inheriting a property from a deceased family member can be extremely difficult to deal with, especially if the belongings were from a parent. You and your family members may find attachments to unforeseen items. It can also cause unexpected grief. This can be highly challenging because of the guilt it can cause from not keeping items that your family member may have loved themselves. Talking to your loved ones before they pass may be the best way to deal with belongings that must be divided. If waiting until after they pass, dividing the belongings as a family may be beneficial.
Equal Distribution Of Assets and Inherited House Value
As mentioned above, when hiring a mediator, having the assets divided unequally or equally can cause disagreements among family members. There’s a chance an heir may not view the division as fair.
For example, if there are three siblings and one sibling took care of their parents until they passed, they may ask for a more significant portion of the division of assets. This can cause unneeded tension and make the process more difficult. Talking about how to divide everything beforehand or hiring a mediator may be the best way to deal with problems like this that arise.
Underwater Inheritance Property
If you inherited an underwater house, selling could be extremely difficult. This can make dealing with the inherited home much more frustrating. You can deal with it by selling it to an investor who can help deal with these situations creatively. Your best bet may be to consider cleaning and making needed repairs to rent the property out while you wait for the value to rebound.
Tips and Final Thoughts On Dealing With Property Inherited
Waiting out the probate process and having to make decisions with other family members can make inheriting a property can make you feel defeated. Here are a few more tips to help you deal with an inherited property.
- Get organized by creating a checklist of tasks to complete and a timeline to complete them. This can help you prioritize those tasks and the needed paperwork.
- Hire professionals that can help you get through the process. This can include attorneys, real estate agents, estate sale companies, and financial consultants to advise you to avoid taxes and complete the sale.
- Communicate with the other heirs. Keeping the other heirs up to date on the status of the property and what actions you have done can help keep the tensions down and make it easier to complete the sale of your inherited house.
If you and your family don’t want to try and deal with the process yourself, we can help. You can fill out this short form below or contact us here to seek our help. Or you can call us at (708) 415-3801. Getting help with an inherited property can start with a cash buyer like us.