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Our Comprehensive list "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?"

Richard Latimer

November 26, 2020

Many people find themselves with an unwanted property when a relative passes away.

While some people are willing to take on the responsibility of caring for a relative's home, others are not. In some cases, the cost of maintaining the house is way too high, or the home is too far away for any inheritor to take care of it. What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?

Inheriting a property can be a great blessing or a terrible burden. It is essential to understand your options before you will make any decisions. Here are some important things to consider before thinking about inheriting a house.

So, What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?

These are the things that can go wrong on our list of "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?"

  1. No Will
  2. The remote location of the property
  3. Family dispute
  4. Smoker house or it had unruly pets
  5. The house is unsafe
  6. Inherited the house when you had financial problems
  7. You have no time to manage the inherited property
  8. The house is co-owned by a family member
  9. Your life situation

1. A Will or Not

First, on our list "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?" is the problems of wills.

A Hand Signing A Will For What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting A House

If a person dies without a will, the state distributes his property according to the rules of “intestacy.” These rules focus on the deceased's blood relatives, who inherit the property. If your relative died without a will, you might have to go through the intestacy process.

However, if the deceased had a will, you will have to go through the probate process to transfer the property to you. If the deceased's will had flaws, you might have to go through an extended probate process. This can cause delays and problems with the property.

Also, if a relative dies in litigation, you may have to wait until the case is over before you can sell the property. 

2. Location of the Property

Second, on our list "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?" is where the house is located.

Picture Of Map

If you inherit real estate in another state, you need to make sure to hire a lawyer to help you manage the process of transferring the property. If the deceased owned property is in another state, you will likely have to deal with the state's probate system in order to transfer the property. And in general, if you inherit a house far from home, you probably would want to sell it.

Alternatively, you may have to move to be closer to the house and its upkeep or hire a property managing company to take care of everything.

3. The Family Is in Dispute

Third, on our list "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?" is the most common problem, the good ole family disputes!

Man Clenching Hand Agry On The Phone

First, on our list "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?" is the problems of wills.

Inheritance often ends in a lot of family disputes, that's why it is important to find a way to benefit most family members. If someone on the inheritance list is in financial trouble, you might want to choose to sell the property to help them out.

Every family member is entitled to a certain amount of money from the sale of the property. If there is a big dispute over the property, and one party wants to sell and one wants to keep it, you may never be able to sell it. So, the best idea is to try to compromise with everyone.

Expert's tip

If you want to sell the property, you should know that you have some obligations to the heirs. You have to be honest with them and give them all the information possible. You have to tell them what the property is worth, how much the taxes are, and what the property needs to be fixed.

If you don't tell them, they might be able to take you to court.

4. You Inherit a House With an Unwanted Tenant, from a Smoker or with a Pet

Fourth, on our list "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?" is the possibility of having to deal with an unwanted tenant, a house torn up by an unruly dog, or the walls stained with cigarette smoke.

Cute Baby Cat With Lazy Eye

Sometimes, the deceased may have allowed a tenant to live in a house he owned. If you inherit this property, you may have to pay the tenant to move if eviction is not an option just to be able to sell the house.

If the deceased was a pet lover, you might have to take on the responsibility of caring for the pets. You can sell the pets or keep them in your house.

If the deceased was a smoker, his or her home might still be filled with cigarette smell. Its smell might not be pleasant to live in for non-smokers. This is why you may want to consider hiring professional cleaners to help you remove the smell of cigarette smoke from the deceased's home.

5. You Inherit an Unsafe House

Fifth, on our list "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?" is the problems of safety.

Old House In The Woods

If you inherit a house, you will have to ensure that it is safe to live in. If it doesn't meet safety standards, you may have to sell it. Or, you may have to hire a contractor to fix the problems.

The roof may be shot and the ceilings are caving in!

6. You Inherit a House When You Have Financial Problems

Sixth, on our list "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?" is your current financial situation.

If you inherit property, but your finances are in trouble, you may have to sell the property without any choice. Especially if the deceased took out a mortgage on the property, which you would have to pay off before fully owning the property.

It is crucial to consider the financial impact of inheriting property before you take it over. If you are in the middle of a personal financial crisis, while it can be tempting, you need to sell the house or some of its contents and use the proceeds to pay off your debts.

If you want to eliminate the high fees and closing costs you can contact a cash home buyer like Veritas Home Buyers.

7.You Inherit a House When You Have No Time to Manage It

Seventh, on our list "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?" is your time situation.

Man In Front Of Computer Lookng At His Watch

If you inherit property, but you have no time to manage it, you might want to sell it. It is important to consider the time you have to manage the property and the cost of hiring a property manager.

8. Your Relative Owned a House With a Family Member

Eighth, on our list "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?" the possibility of dealing with co-ownership.

If your relative owned a house with a family member, you will have to wait until the probate process is over before you can sell the property. However, if the property is in a trust or the deceased left a will, you can sell the property without going through the probate process.

9. Life situation

Last, on our list "What Can Go Wrong When Inheriting a House?" is your life situation.

If you inherit a house, there is a chance you have to move into it yourself. This may disrupt your plans to move to another city. If you have already started a new life, you may not want to move to a new house. Instead, you may choose to sell the property.

You may need to give up your job in order to take care of the house. So, if you're not in the middle of a career change, this is probably something you don't want to do.

You might have to move to the house with your spouse in order to keep it. If you do not want to stay with your spouse, you may have to sell the house in order to move away. And if you happen to be in the middle of a divorce, you should probably sell the house in order to pay for legal fees.

In case you already own property, you might not want to take on the responsibility of managing another home. Choosing to sell the inherited property and investing elsewhere might be smart.

Conclusion

So when you are asking your self, what can go wrong when inheriting a house? Know that there are many things to plan for and take into consideration.

We hoped you enjoyed our article "What can go wrong with inheriting a house" and that you have learned something from it.

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