You’ve just had a huge surprise. One of your older relatives has unexpectedly passed away, leaving their property to you. You might be wondering how to proceed in this situation that you didn’t anticipate. Here are a few steps that you should take when a relative leaves you a property at their passing.
Look at the Terms of the Mortgage
First of all, you need to know if there is still some debt in place with the property. Make sure that you look at the terms of the mortgage to see how much of the mortgage payment remains to be paid if any. To be able to view this information, you may have to present the lender with the death certificate of your relative, along with the legal documentation showing that you’re the inheritor of the property. If you have the money available to pay off the rest of the mortgage, the house will be more useful and easy for you to maintain. You could then use the property as your personal residence or as a rental or investment property.
Go Through the Legal Probate Process
Another step that you may need to take care of is to go through the legal probate process. Sometimes, individuals mean to leave their house to an inheritor but fail to go through all of the legal processes to make that inheritance binding. When this happens, the house isn’t legally owned by the inheritor at the passing of the owner. Instead, it is temporarily owned by the probate court. To regain legal ownership of the house, you’ll need to go to probate court and get help from the lawyers there. You also need to maintain the property throughout the probate process.
Care for the House
Finally, make sure that you are maintaining and caring for the house over time. If you don’t live near the house, it can be helpful to hire someone to help clean and organize the house. Your care of the house might lead you to find some repairs or renovations that need to be done to keep the house in good condition. The time and money required to carry out these repairs might end up affecting your decision of whether or not to keep the house.
So, if you end up unexpectedly inheriting a house from a relative, remember the tips in this article. Make sure that you look at the terms of the mortgage, go through the legal probate process, and care for the house over time. This will help you to figure out the best way to proceed with the house that you’ve inherited.
Check out this article on top real estate terms you need to know!