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Inheriting Property

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 24 Oct 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Property private Property inheritance

When someone dies any private property (or shares in a private property) that (s)he owned will become a part of his or her estate. This estate will be distributed according to the law either by the executor (someone named in the deceased’s will) or administrator (someone appointed by law in the event that no will was left). Depending on the type of property held and the instructions left in the will, there are many ways in which an individual could inherit property and many rights and responsibilities that come along with such an inheritance.

Ways of Inheriting Property

There are three main ways in which private property can be inherited. The first is if the deceased and the inheritor were living together in a property held as a “joint tenancy”. Upon the death, the surviving member of this agreement inherits the entire property automatically. The second common way of inheriting property is if the property was owned as a “tenancy in common”, then the inheritor will be awarded the deceased’s share in the property either as stipulated in the deceased’s will or according to the laws of intestacy/succession (in the event that no will exists). Finally, if the deceased owned the property outright then it will be inherited according to the deceased’s will or the laws of intestacy/succession (again if no will exists).

Debts and Inherited Property

Property that is inherited will usually not be released to the inheritor until all debts have been cleared from the deceased’s estate. However, it may be that outstanding debts exist and the property must be sold in order to make up these debts. If such is the case, the inheritor should be informed of these developments and should be kept informed about the process by the executor or administrator of the will. Generally if the property was held as a joint tenancy then all other avenues of paying debts will be explored before the idea of selling the property must be raised, but if it is impossible to pay these debts otherwise then selling may be the only option. Working with a solicitor will help make all details clear about specific cases.

Uses of an Inherited Property

Sometimes the properties inherited after a death are already inhabited by tenants. Whether or not this arrangement will continue is up to the new owner. However, if it does continue then the new owner becomes the landlord and must shoulder all of the responsibilities of this position as stipulated by the law. Regardless of whether the new owner is hoping to sell the property, inhabit the property him/herself or continue renting the property to others, a solicitor should be consulted to ensure that all laws are followed regarding these transactions. If a new owner does intend to move into the property, (s)he should consult a solicitor regarding the existence of any tenants, registering the property in his/her name, nominating the property as his/her main home with the Tax Office, taking on mortgage payments, paying any applicable taxes and anything else related to his/her specific situation.

Inheriting property is not usually a straightforward affair. There are many ways of inheriting property, and many more issues that must be dealt with such as taxes on the property, the property being used to pay off debts, relationships with existing tenants living in the property, tax issues surrounding the property becoming the owner’s main home, the new owner taking over the mortgage on the property and much more. If possible, the guidance of a solicitor should always be sought in case of private property inheritance.

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My mother who is still alive put my sisters nane on her house. She has said she is giving her the house because my sister has never left the home and has helped ro make improvements to it. She has also said it is there states law that since she has occupied that home for 25 years that it is her home regardless of how I feel.I would not take the house if my mother passed, I just wondered if this is true. When I was asked about putting my sisters name on the house I thought it was so the state couldn't get it.
Confused - 21-Oct-19 @ 4:45 PM
My mother passed away Feb of 2018. Before she passed away she made me her durable and medical power of attorney because my mother and father are divorced and I am an only child so only I became successor agent of her estate as well as i inherit all of her property and possessions. My mother haslived in and owned our family home since 2005 by herself as per the agreement of the divorce. Just before my mother passed away my mother and my estranged father who was not in joint tenancy or any other capacity ....who had moved to oregon and been remarried abandoning my mother and her home ....they both before mom passed away also signed a grant deed to me notarized and fullylegal....for our property and family home to become mine solely. To inherit the property. Now all the sudden my father is selling one of the two parcels I own. Because he has gotten into trouble in oregon for domestic violence , and he needs money for a defense lawyer . How can I stop this from happening . >my father is crazy and also a total belligerentalcoholic and drug addict who has always beat my momAnd now his new wife too. My father should have no right to sell my property what do I do
Randie - 27-Sep-19 @ 12:50 AM
My mother has just died, she lived with my two brothers, one who is disabled and needs looking after, her will states that my brothers can continue living in the house until they deem fit, if they wish to sell the house then my disabled brother is to have somewhere to live out of the sale and the rest is split 3 ways.Currently my brothers wish to continue living in the house with me overseeing the care of my disabled brother, we are all in agreement with this. Does this need to go to probate? Myself and my other brother are executers, does the house need to be put in somebody's name or can it stay in my mother's
Brian - 28-Jul-19 @ 10:47 PM
So I had/have the p.o.a over my mother's things. So she has a double wide home I grew up in an she moved to another state she only gave me an my child permission to be on the property.. my cousin an his girlfriend were homeless an decided that they were just going to stay in her home an try to make it there own without permission from anyone. So I need them out an can't find my p.o.a so with that being said there was never any rental,lease, or verbal agreement for them to even be on the property, there is no electricity,water no anything they are using power from his deceased parents home next door.. I need to be able to move in today what do I do??
Trina - 1-Jul-19 @ 6:21 AM
I have the p.o.a over my mother's things she passed away an had a home. She left the home an moved to another state so no one had or has permission but myself an my child to be there. In September of 2018 my drug addicted cousin an girlfriend were homeless an decided to move in my mother's home. There is no power on no utilities never ever any kind of rental agreement. So me an my child have fallen on hard times an need a home to go to, I find out from a friend that someone is there at my mom's home so I go down there an sure enough they are living there now I tell him me an my kid are coming to move in the next week an we go there today him an his girlfriend show up an threatened us law enforcement were there an told them they had to leave but I didn't have the paperwork.. so my deliema is now that I can not find the p.o.a what in the world do I do now... Please someone help me
Trina - 1-Jul-19 @ 6:13 AM
My father owns 4/5 of his house and his brother owns 1/5 of the same house. The house was originally my grandmother's house and when she died, it was left to my dad and his siblings. My dad's 3 older sisters signed their shares over to my dad, so my dad owns 4/5 and his brother owns 1/5. At the time my aunts signed their shares over, my uncle didn't want to discuss it. My uncle has not be involved with our family in years and has never lived in the house, never made any improvements or helped with upkeep of the house, and has never paid taxes on the house. My father has lived in the house the whole time and has paid for all improvements/upkeep and taxes for the past 15-20 years. My father is dying of cancer and plans to leave the house to my brother and I. He and our mother divorced in 1991 and he never remarried. My father does not have a lot and therefore does not have a will. From what I have read and have been told, my bother and I will inherite the house when he passes. My question is, how do we get my uncle off the deed? And since my dad owns 4/5 of the house, it does still go to my brother and I rather than my uncle who only owes 1/5, correct? Also, since he has not been active with our family and we don't know how to reach him, is there an abandonment rule for him? We live in Wisconsin.
Jen - 14-May-19 @ 7:13 PM
My father owns 4/5 of his house and his brother owns 1/5 of the same house. The house was originally my grandmother's house and when she died, it was left to my dad and his siblings. My dad's 3 older sisters signed their shares over to my dad, so my dad owns 4/5 and his brother owns 1/5. At the time my aunts signed their shares over, my uncle didn't want to discuss it. My uncle has not be involved with our family in years and has never lived in the house, never made any improvements or helped with upkeep of the house, and has never paid taxes on the house. My father has lived in the house the whole time and has paid for all improvements/upkeep and taxes for the past 15-20 years. My father is dying of cancer and plans to leave the house to my brother and I. He and our mother divorced in 1991 and he never remarried. My father does not have a lot and therefore does not have a will. From what I have read and have been told, my bother and I will inherite the house when he passes. My question is, how do we get my uncle off the deed? And since my dad owns 4/5 of the house, it does still go to my brother and I rather than my uncle who only owes 1/5, correct? Also, since he has not been active with our family and we don't know how to reach him, is there an abandonment rule for him? We live in Wisconsin.
Jen - 14-May-19 @ 6:40 PM
My dad died and left house to eldest child with the condition that when she dies, the money is split between myself and sister (excluding) other sibling as they had their money already. Eldest child died (without a will) so money went to mum (no will either), who died soon after. Eldest sister got mum to sign over money to them to deal with before his death, now is keeping the money for themselves and not giving to myself or Sister. Does my dad's original will stand true, or is there nothing I can do?
LJ - 8-May-19 @ 3:38 PM
I am executor of my mother’s will. I am in process of getting probate to deal with the estate. My mother owned her property outright in just her name but does live with her friend. Her friend is listed as beneficiary in the will. The house will be put up for sale. What action do I need to take to get her friend to leave. Would I become their landlord? Thanks
JLW - 16-Apr-19 @ 8:13 PM
If my mother has been given her recently deceased partners house can she give it to someone else ( not for me I might add)
P3aky81ind3r - 2-Apr-19 @ 8:57 PM
My mother's will stipulates that I inherit her house, but with the condition that my brother are allowed to stay there for life without having to pay rent, but he is responsible for property tax, water and electricity and general maintenance. What is the legal implications? 1) The house will be registered on my name - what if he does not pay the bills? Will I be held accountable and blacklisted? 2) Will I be able to also live in the same house, if I need to? 3) While my brother is still alive, will I be allowed to sell the property to get out of owning it? 4) What if he dies, can I give notice to his wife?
lize - 20-Sep-18 @ 9:02 AM
My partner has been left his dads home in arizona. Can he sell it if the title is still in his dads name and not my partners
Chell - 11-Jul-18 @ 8:53 AM
My father has died with loan and credit card debts of about £20,000. There is no insurance to cover these and I cannot pay these from my savings. There is an asset of his house with no mortgage. I want to keep the house for mainly sentimental reasons. Would I be able to get a small mortgage to pay the debts or would the house still need to be sold.
Katek - 8-Jul-18 @ 9:57 PM
Alison - Your Question:
My sister lives with my father. She is 50, always refused to move out or to work (much to my fathers dispair). She is intelligent but not an easy personIm assuming that when he passes the property will be split 3 ways (between me, her, and my other sister.my other sister lives away from home).The property is worth about 800k so iht would need to be paid. I dont belive there would be enough other money in the estate to pay it.I am worried that inspite of this my sister will refuse to move out (shes difficult like that). and wondered if me and my other sister take out an inheritence tax loan and my sister refuses to move out where would we stand? Im worried we end up struggling to pay the installments my sister would still refuse to move out. If me and my other sister couldnt afford to pay the installments is any inheritenace tax loan secured against the property and then my fathers property be repossssed? And my sister evicted? Or could they potentially go after my property/ which I have worked very hard for.

Our Response:
You need to seek professional advice on this really. Your father can take steps now that will reduce the impact of an IHTburden on you and also to ensure your sister knows she must move out of the property when it is sold. You can actually pay IHT in instalments over 10 years if a property takes time to sell. See this government page for more information
FacingBereavement - 15-Jun-18 @ 10:06 AM
My sister lives with my father. She is 50, always refused to move out or to work (much to my fathers dispair). She is intelligent but not an easy person Im assuming that when he passes the property will be split 3 ways (between me, her, and my other sister..my other sister lives away from home). The property is worth about 800k so iht would need to be paid. I dont belive there would be enough other money in the estate to pay it. I am worried that inspite of this my sister will refuse to move out (shes difficult like that).. and wondered if me and my other sister take out an inheritence tax loan and my sister refuses to move out where would we stand? Im worried we end up struggling to pay the installments my sister would still refuse to move out. If me and my other sister couldnt afford to pay the installments is any inheritenace tax loan secured against the property and then my fathers property be repossssed? And my sister evicted? Or could they potentially go after my property/ which I have worked very hard for.
Alison - 14-Jun-18 @ 6:53 AM
My father died 10 years ago but never left a will. My mother then made a will despite me being her carer and also my fathers when he was alive to leave my brother everything after her death as she did not agree to me marrying my husband what are my rights. My father said the property after my motgers day was to be shared equal.
Pebbles - 13-Jun-18 @ 4:06 PM
My step father died and left his flat to me i have 2 step brothers..i am executor of his estate..can i go ahead and sell the flat? Im in Scotland.. Thanks in advance
Mish72 - 30-May-18 @ 12:02 PM
Bess - Your Question:
My father died 22 years ago and told me that the house would be left to his wife firstly then splìt between us 4 children. He told me I had nothing to worry about everything had been sorted.His wife is now selling the property and I have been told I am no longer in the will just her children is she legally allowed to do this ?

Our Response:
You should be able to get a copy of the Will to check this out. If the conditions of the Will have not been followed a solicitor will be able to advise.
FacingBereavement - 22-May-18 @ 3:43 PM
Sky - Your Question:
My mother had passed and I'm entitled through the Will to her Estate, am I duty bound to share it with my husband of 35 years?

Our Response:
In general yes you should. There are some legal complexities involved, especially if you divorce, so we suggest you contact a legal professional.
FacingBereavement - 22-May-18 @ 3:40 PM
My father died 22 years ago and told me that the house would be left to his wife firstly then splìt between us 4 children . He told me i had nothing to worry about everything had been sorted .His wife is now selling the property and i have been told i am no longer in the willjust her children is she legally allowed to do this ?
Bess - 16-May-18 @ 7:03 PM
My mother had passed and I'm entitled through the Will to her Estate, am I duty bound to share it with my husband of 35 years?
Sky - 16-May-18 @ 6:33 PM
Jessica Cortez - Your Question:
If I build a house and my grandfather is in the deed and he dies will I have to split my house with his kids? He’s giving me part of his land and want to build a house there but he insisted on being in the deed and I heard if he’s on there it will have to be split between his kids even if the house is mine. True or false? I live in Texas

Our Response:
Sorry but we are UK based so can't comment on US law related issues.
FacingBereavement - 9-May-18 @ 11:45 AM
Tiny - Your Question:
Just quick, if a brother had inherited a house from estate is he entitled to anything else.When there is four other siblings

Our Response:
This depends on the terms of the Will. If there is no Will(and no living spouse), the entire estate is divided equally between all the children.
FacingBereavement - 8-May-18 @ 1:55 PM
If I build a house and my grandfather is in the deed and he dies will I have to split my house with his kids? He’s giving me part of his land and want to build a house there but he insisted on being in the deed and I heard if he’s on there it will have to be split between his kids even if the house is mine. True or false? I live in Texas
Jessica Cortez - 8-May-18 @ 1:40 PM
Just quick, if a brother had inherited a house from estate is he entitled to anything else..... When there is four other siblings
Tiny - 8-May-18 @ 10:59 AM
Mazza83 - Your Question:
Hi I have a quick couple of questions, I rencently received a letter from a research company to trace me to inform me my grandmother passed away ( she never wanted anything to do with me). My father had passed away previous to her and I am now entitled to 1/4 if the estate. I got the lawyers letter saying only to fill in And send back if I don’t want my legal rights I.e the money. I just wonder do I have to do anything to say I do want it or will I just receive a cheque ? I have already been told what I’m receiving this is Scots law Thank you

Our Response:
We don't know what the rules are about these research companies. You are entitled to the money, but if you don't reply saying that you are who they think you are, then surely they won't be able to release the funds?
FacingBereavement - 27-Apr-18 @ 12:04 PM
M - Your Question:
My father passed away and through probate the house went to our mother and me and my two brothers.My mother signed her share to one of my brothers, with my eldest brother and I having 5% each on her death.My mother passed away June 2017 and my brother is now selling the property (his name on the Title). We have only been communicating through solicitors.As our 5%s are from my late father's estate, how do we obtain these from the sale of the property and could he just disappear with our inheritance? Do we just have to trust him to give it to us?

Our Response:
Get you solicitors involved in this. If you are communicating viathem anyway, they should be sorting this out for you.
FacingBereavement - 25-Apr-18 @ 3:41 PM
Hi I have a quick couple of questions, I rencently received a letter from a research company to trace me to inform me my grandmother passed away ( she never wanted anything to do with me). My father had passed away previous to her and I am now entitled to 1/4 if the estate . I got the lawyers letter saying only to fill in And sendback if I don’t want my legal rights I.e the money . I just wonder do I have to do anything to say I do want it or will I just receive a cheque ? I have already been told what I’m receiving this is Scots law Thank you
Mazza83 - 24-Apr-18 @ 6:00 PM
My father passed away and through probate the house went to our mother and me and my two brothers. My mother signed her share to one of my brothers, with my eldest brother and I having 5% each on her death. My mother passed away June 2017 and my brother is now selling the property (his name on the Title). We have only been communicating through solicitors. As our 5%s are from my late father's estate, how do we obtain these from the sale of the property and could he just disappear with our inheritance? Do we just have to trust him to give it to us?
M - 23-Apr-18 @ 9:44 PM
BigJon - Your Question:
My father recently passed away and has left me his home, which is mortgage free and full of furniture and personal possessions. He left all of his money to his daughter and her sons. His daughter is now trying to claim 50% of the possessions in my new home, but my stance is that the contents were left to me when the house became mine. Can you please tell me who is entitled to these contents if they were not specified in the will?Thanks

Our Response:
Who is the executor of the Will? Who receives the possessions, will depend on how the Will is worded. It may be worth asking a solicitor to help with this if you can't agree. Don't forget probate is needed if property is involved.
FacingBereavement - 19-Mar-18 @ 12:57 PM
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