The Huffington Post's "5 Questions to Ask When Inheriting a House" talks about how to handle an inherited house. Once the basics are covered and some of the questions are answered, the beneficiary of a home can make an informed decision on what to do next and find an appropriate solution. Here are some questions to ask and the steps involved when you inherit a house.
- What is the probate policy for the area? Unless there was advanced estate planning, the house and the estate will be required to pass through probate. Talk with an attorney who specializes in probate law. If you are the executor of the estate, an experienced estate planning attorney will be able to guide you through the process and correctly pass all assets (including the house) to the rightful heirs.
- What are the monthly expenses? See if there's a mortgage and association fees as well as utilities, insurance, and taxes. These will help you identify all of the ongoing expenses for the house.
- What should I do with the house? You can keep it for personal use, rent it, or sell. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Keeping the home for your personal use gives you the ability to own a home that will probably have a lot of equity. Renting gives you passive income. Selling the home lets you convert the home into cash.
- What is the house worth? You need to know the home's value, whether you are dividing its proceeds for multiple heirs or trying go about selling. A Realtor™ will provide you with a free, no-obligation comparative market analysis of the value, which will have recent sales of properties similar to the inherited house, as well as similar properties currently for sale and the home's estimated market value.
- When can I sell the house? After the executor is designated by the court, he or she will be given limited or full authority to sell assets. With full authority, the executor can sell the home at any time after appointment for any price he or she thinks is acceptable. Limited authority means that the property can be sold, but the sale may require court approval.
Asking questions like those discussed above and selecting high quality professionals will put you in the best position to make the right decision.
Reference: Huffington Post (April 4, 2016) "5 Questions to Ask When Inheriting a House"