Inherited a house? – 5 Things Every Heir Should Do
Posted on March 6, 2023 by Amanda Gladin
Have you inherited a house? Inheriting a house can be a stressful event. Not because…who wouldn’t want a free house with absolutely no strings attached. Ha! If it could only be that simple.
Whether you inherited a house solely or you are having to share decision making with half a dozen people. Let me take you through some of the most common tasks that need to take place to prevent potential future headaches.
Table of Contents
- Stop and Think!
- Find out if you inherited a house with taxes owed
- Check if you just inherited a mortgage
- Did you get an inheritance with any additional liens?
- Will you need to do probate?
Stop and think!
One of the hardest things for us to do is to quit acting in crisis mode. It’s truly a hard pill to swallow. We have to think offensively instead of defensively. Otherwise, impulsive reacting can lead to lots of issues down the road. However, the absolute worst thing you can do is NOTHING.
So let this be the best suggestions I can make, after years of working with sellers who have inherited a house of nightmares. However, even with the best of intentions and everything being planned, mistakes can still happen. Let’s try to help you avoid them together. Deal?
Find out if you Inherited a House with Taxes Owed
This is a big one. It may not seem like it today, but wait 5 years after a disabled senior passes without the family removing the exemption. Families lose houses that have been in their families for years, due to the roll back taxes compounding yearly with fees and penalties. Let’s just avoid that one all together.
Notify Taxing Authorities
Depending on the specific area the property falls in, the best place to look for this information would be the county appraisal district where the property lies. There will be certain defining information: the main taxing authorities are City, County, Municipal, and School. Harris. Montgomery. (Clink County to visit appraisal district websites by county.)
You’ll want to make sure to notate the updated address for all tax bills moving forward until you’re able to cross the probate bridge, which will be discussed in further detail shortly. I will link the documents to update contact information to yours so as to not miss any of the notices sent out for your new inherited house. Harris. Montgomery. (If any of these links fail – even 10 years from now…just ask me)
Check if You Just Inherited a Home with a Mortgage
This is one of those you don’t want to forget to review before spending any money on probate, taxes, etc. It’s a harsh reality, but the reality is that a lot of people take out reverse mortgages, deferment on their taxes, these are very costly things you need to take into consideration. Whether you inherited the house solely or with all those heirs we spoke about before. 😣
This is not as easy to attain, as the change of address forms for the taxing authorities. This is one where you’re going to need to open the title at a local title company. Here is the one we use the most. Texas Title – Memorial. With Brenda Nieto.
Doing this will also help simultaneously with some of the following tasks as well…so let’s move on to killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Read more – inherited a house with a mortgage
Did You Get an inheritance with Any Additional Liens?
This could be anything. Examples include vendor liens, home equity loans, IRS taxes, abstract judgements against deceased child support, and even things such as Medicaid. This is the reason “opening title” is a must do in these cases. (Click to Learn more in depth here)
People struggle to deal with the costs of the end of their lives. Sometimes they suffer silently. This will be something even the title company can help with. They will fill out a MERP form with the state and have the balance pulled. Unfortunately that “free” money isn’t necessarily as free as some people may believe.
It eats a lot of older folks’ lunches. It’s a grim reminder sometimes of how social security was never designed to be the only source of resources in a person’s retirement. Trying to pay a mortgage. A home equity loan payment. Even an air conditioning payment. These can all cause catastrophic damage to their fiscal health—in turn leading to some stressful endings.
This is something I plan to educate myself on remedying eventually, but unfortunately, my experience hasn’t led to a sure fire way to avoid these struggles. Life unfortunately happens. To the best of us, and the worst of us. Let’s plan to avoid this one together too!
Will you need to do Probate?
If you just plan to split proceeds, a lot of times, people can avoid probate all together. As probate can be very EXPENSIVE. Sometimes ungodly expensive, if someone passes with a contested will. Oddly enough, passing intestate is VERY cut and dry in Texas. The judge splits everything exactly as followed in this colorful explanation.
Lastly, this is honestly a last resort if you just plan to sell a house with everyone on board. However, sometimes probate is the best option. There are dozens of reasons why, but they usually all consist of splitting assets.
Inheriting a house can be a very, very complicated situation. Not only that you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one; you’re also dealing with trying to figure out what to do with the real estate that you just gained.
However, there is plenty of light at the end of the tunnel! If you handle this inheritance like a pro, you’ll be able to share the knowledge with anyone you may know that goes through this situation as a guide to the information.
Did you just inherit a house? We can help!
Swifty Buys Houses is a Houston-based real estate investment firm that specializes in helping people like you get out of sticky situations, such as inherited homes that you might not be too keen on keeping in the family. We can help with:
- Assisting you through the heirship process
- Getting cash for the estate—quickly
In short, just give us a call if you just “don’t feel like dealing with it.” We get it. We will gladly buy the house from you, and the other heirs of course.
Give us a call today, whether you have home inheritance questions or an offer at 832-839-0890.