“We regret to inform you that your uncle has passed away. In his will, he left you the deed to his summer home. Here you go.”
According to the movies, this is what inheriting probate property looks like. In real life, it’s not so simple.
But don’t worry. We have the answers to all your questions regarding your property inheritance. If you’re wondering how to move forward in this situation, read through this guide.
Get a Lawyer
It’s great that you’re reading this guide and all. But you’re going to need to hire a probate attorney regardless.
They are your legal guide/representative concerning your probate property. To move forward with this inheritance, you need their professional help and advice above all else.
House or No House?
The next thing to consider is whether or not there is real estate on the land or not. This will influence the cost of keeping the land and, therefore, your decision to keep it or not.
While an inherited house will require upkeep (and thus, money), empty land will not. But then, a house in good condition gives you the option of renting it out for additional income.
The Cost of Inheriting Probate Property
While the federal estate tax exemption rate is set, the specific taxes you’re required to pay for inheriting the property varies by location. Typically (but not always), estates valued at less than $5,000,000 don’t require beneficiaries to pay any death taxes. You’ll have to ask your lawyer to know for sure.
For certain, though, any expenses/contracts relating to the property still stand. For example, mortgage loans and HOA fees transfer over to the beneficiary. When you inherit the property, these expenses and agreements become your responsibility.
Can/Should You Sell Inherited Land?
The answer to this question depends on two things: the value of the property and the cost of holding onto it. Before anything else, ask your lawyer about any related costs or taxes associated with inheriting the property.
Most importantly, make sure you can keep up with mortgage payments without defaulting. Also, consider the cost of maintenance.
With that knowledge, find out the value of the property. Real estate agents can help you with this.
Once you have a good idea of the value, consider whether or not it’s a good investment or an unbearable financial burden. Don’t forget, renting the property out might be a better financial option than selling, too.
Can/Should You Build on Your Inherited Land?
Inheriting empty land is a great opportunity for building your dream home. Since the land is already yours, it might cost you less to build a home than to buy one on someone else’s land.
Of course, this does not mean it will be cheap. However, you can subdivide your land and sell some of it off to help you raise money for the project.
In any case, don’t attempt this undertaking without the help of experienced real estate lawyers. You must always follow the proper legal protocol when building on any land, even your own.
Remember This Probate Property Guide
Hopefully, we’ve helped you decide what to do with your probate property. If so, please share this guide to help others who may need it.
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