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  • Amy Privette

10 Questions to Consider When You Inherit Real Estate

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Real estate is often one of the most valuable assets to be distributed after a person's death. Proper handling of an inherited home or parcel of land could yield significant financial gains for your family, so it's important that you fully consider your options. It is also important that you piece together the legal steps which may be necessary in order to effectively transfer title of the property to you. To help you organize your thoughts, we've put together the following list of questions for you to work through.

1. Where is the property located respective to me and where is it located respective to the person who died (for example, is the property situated in the same county and state where the deceased person resided)?

2. How did the real estate pass to me (e.g., by trust? by Will? by intestate succession?)?

3. If the property is coming to me outside of a trust, then what are the probate rules that govern real estate in the county and state where the deceased person resided (and also the rules for real estate in the county and state where the property is situated if the locations are different)?

4. Did I inherit 100% of the property or am I one of several heirs, each with a separate percentage interest (and is that percentage interest held as tenants in common or joint with the right of survivorship)?

5. If I am only a partial owner, what is my relationship like with the other heirs, and do I want to be co-owners with them?

6. What is the value of the home, and how do I document this for tax purposes (e.g., do I need to have a formal appraisal, or can I ask a realtor to prepare a set of comparables)?

7. What kind of monthly expenses am I on the hook for (whether in the short-term as I prepare to sell or in the long-term if I plan to keep the property), and when does my obligation start?

8. What do I want to do with the property (e.g., take ownership and move into it, take ownership and rent it out, take ownership and sell the property, disclaim ownership entirely)?

9. If I decide to take ownership of the property so I can sell it, when can I sell (i.e., what timing rules must I adhere to) and who needs to sign the deed (just me, me and my spouse, me and the Executor of the estate, etc.)?

10. If I take ownership of the property, does the property need to be re-titled, and if so, how should it be titled (e.g., in my name alone, in my trust's name, in an LLC)?

Feeling overwhelmed? It's OK. It's a lot to think about, and we are happy to help you navigate through this list of questions. Give us a call, send us a text, or email us today.

Phone: (919) 678-5761 Text: (833) 260-2728

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