This piece written by our friends at Homelight.
We’re all fairly aware of the proceedings that happen after someone in our family dies, whether it be from books, movies, or our own lives. Grief is one thing, but inheritance is a totally different side of the spectrum. Most people complete what is known as estate planning, or formulating a legal plan for what happens to their belongings after their death. This usually come in the form of a will or a living trust. One rather substantial piece of property that is passed down after someone dies is their home, which comes with a fair amount of responsibility. Today, we’re going to discuss what to expect after you inherit a home.
This process will normally happen if the benefactor (the person who developed the estate plan) wrote the property into a will or did not develop an estate plan at all. Probate court is a legal proceeding in which an executor determines the validity of the will. Unless the benefactor passed the house on to you via a living trust while they were still alive, you’ll likely have to go through probate. If the deceased wrote a will, they likely appointed an executor whose responsibility it is to carry out the will and distribute the estate. If no will was formed, then the court will have to appoint an executor.
Regardless of the case, probate court can be a tricky process, especially when it comes to something like a home. Seeking professional help can make the probate inheritance process less burdensome, especially when you’re handling the loss of a loved one.
Taking on a Home
Just because you inherited a home doesn’t mean that you’re ready to homeownership on. To start, the home’s mortgage might not have been paid off yet. You’ll want to contact the lender as soon as possible to prevent late fees and even foreclosure proceedings if multiple payments have been missed. A probate attorney can help if this is the case. Further, contact the utility companies that are providing internet, gas, electricity, and any other service to the home so that power isn’t shut off.
Deciding if You Want to Keep It
Did the stress of “I inherited probate property, now what?” just hit? You don’t have to keep the house, and selling it is certainly an option. Contact a real estate agent right away if you’re not ready to take on a home. We also suggest that you contact close friends and family who may be interested in the property before listing it on the market. Work an arrangement out with the real estate agent and any interested friends or family.
Don’t Go About This Alone
The grief of losing a loved one is extremely hard on anyone, especially when you have to deal with the legal proceedings. We’re more than happy to provide guidance during your time of need. Contact us today to learn more.