Inheriting Property: What You Need to Know

Inheritances are always fraught, ambiguous occasions. You could be receiving a lifechanging sum or resource, or something of immense sentimental value even if it’s not hugely significant financially. On the other hand, you’re only receiving it because someone you care for has passed on. The situation is emotionally complicated and stressful, and for larger inheritances leaves you with some significant admin to do at a time when you are least willing to and equipped for it.

Today we’re looking at a few of the key things you need to know about inheriting property to make sure you’re able to do what you need to at this difficult, sensitive time.

Talk to the Experts

If you don’t have a family lawyer involved, it’s well worth finding a local solicitor who can advise you on the situation. They can provide some guidance on what to do in the absence of a will. They can let you know what your obligations and options are regarding inheritance tax, and they can let you know how to divide estates fairly where no enough detail has been left on how to accomplish that.

Most importantly they can do all of this with the detachment of a legal professional, not someone caught up in the emotional maelstrom of loss. They can see clearly and guide you towards a future where you are able to move on, not be stuck, paralysed in the present.

Deciding What to Do

It’s important not to make any decisions immediately: they are born of intense, painful emotions and in the cold light of day you may well rethink them. Selling the house you’ve inherited may at first feel very attractive as it’s a painful reminder of the person you’ve lost, but as your initial wave of grieve subsides, you might regret it. On the other hand, regardless of the wisdom and practicality of the situation you might decide you want to move into the house you’ve inherited even if it becomes clear that the best solution is to sell or rent it out.

Selling or Renting

If you do decide to sell or rent the house, you have a lot to weigh up. Selling gets you a lump sum there and then, whereas renting could mean greater financial security in the long term. On the other hand, if you rent out a house you do need to make sure it’s fit for tenants, which a house might not be at the end of a long life. If you don’t know how to renovate a house, it’s difficult to judge the cost and scope of the work, so make sure you speak to a builder or other professional before you make any long term decisions.

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I am discussing all kinds of business and finance topics on this blog and I hope that the information I provide will prove to be useful.