It’s common practice for property and estates to be handled by will solicitors in the event of a death. Because this is such common practice, it’s often the case that people are unsure on how to act in a situation where the property of a loved on is handed to them. In order to make things a little bit less daunting to process in a time of grief, we have put together a guide of everything you need to know if you are faced with this situation.
How long do I have to act?
When processing the death of a loved one, the last thing you want to be thinking about is tax, property, debt and any other costs that you could be faced with. If you inherit property from a loved one, it doesn’t have to be dealt with straight away, as lenders and banks are considerate of how you may be feeling and what you will be going through. Inheritance tax doesn’t have to be paid off straight away, and there is a time limit of a year before it needs to be paid off. Additionally, real estate mortgages offer something called a “grace period”, which is essentially a period of time allocated for you to get your affairs in order and to consider all of your options. If you are set to inherit a property, it isn’t until the will is actually executed until you become the owner of the property.
What are the long term options?
At this point, you will be faced with the options to either sell the property, rent it out or to move into it. Your situation will dictate which decision you make at the time, and after considering all of your options, your will solicitor will help you to make a decision that is beneficial to yourself. Renting out your newly inherited property will help to generate more income for yourself every month, which is why it is one of the most common options for those who have inherited property to choose. Selling will help to give you a lump sum of money, which can really help out if you are looking to invest in something. If you decide to sell your home, you will need to speak to a property conveyancing solicitors. This will help to guide you through the process completely.
Who is the decision maker regarding the property?
In a will, an executor is named as the person who oversees the distribution of selling or renting out the property. This could be anybody who has befriended or is related to the deceased person, or even a solicitor. This person will be in charge of making sure that all of the tax payments, the clearance of any debt, or the distribution of the estate is all in order. If no will has been drawn up, then the property will either go to their spouse, civil partner or children.
Do I have to make payments on the outstanding mortgage?
Whoever inherits the property will have the responsibility of making mortgage repayments on the estate. In some instances, a person’s life insurance will cover any of the mortgage repayments that still need to be made, which can make owning the property much easier. If a mortgage still needs to be repaid on the property, then it’s much more common for people to decide to sell the property.