Ignatius was surprised that his parents had given him their home as an inheritance. Being a drifter, he didn’t expect to get anything from the will. He only had one thing on his mind – sell the house and use the proceeds to explore the world. However, he didn’t know where to start, because a considerable part of his life was spent on the road.
Many beneficiaries find themselves in this predicament – ending up with a house that they don’t want.
You might end up with your parents’ house when they pass away. Have you ever wondered what steps you will take when this happens?
When you take over the house, many issues come up. These can be either emotional (memories you have of the home) or financial (paying the mortgage), and you have to handle them.
Issues also crop up when your siblings are involved in the succession. This can make things go wrong for you.
Today we start a series on how to sell off your house. Being an issue that disturbs many beneficiaries, we have comprehensively handled it for you. Let us dive right into the process.
Understand the Status of the Property
Many heirs know that they can inherit their parents’ home at one time or another, but only a few understand what process their parents went through to transfer the house to them.
Understanding the process gives you an idea of what to do when you receive ownership of the house. Let us look at the different ways your parents could have transferred the house to you.
Transfer of Ownership
Here, your parents give the house to you through the transfer of ownership. This means they changed the title to your name, making you the new owner.
This is when your parent gives you the home as a joint owner. This way, you only gain ownership when the parent dies. You get to own the house directly without any probate process.
The option doesn’t come without certain risks, though – if your parent gave you ownership of the house through joint tenancy, your creditors have the authority to seize it to clear any debts you have accrued.
Here, they come up with an account that directs the trustee to give you ownership when they pass away, but they retain full ownership when they are alive. However, you need to seek the advice of an estate planning lawyer to understand whether your state has this provision.
Employing a Living Trust
Another good way to acquire the property is via a living trust. Here, your parents transfer the ownership to you, but it only gets activated when they pass away.
A living trust bypasses probate, and the house is safe from your creditors as well.
Your parents can use a trustee, but need the services of an estate planning lawyer to write the trust agreement. When they die, the trustee transfers ownership to you as per your parents’ desires, and then closes down the trust.
Identifying the process through which your parents transferred the house to you helps you to understand whether your creditors will have a field day or not. Find out more about this when you talk to your lawyer.
Know Who the Executor of the Estate Is
Knowing the individual that has been chosen as the executor of the estate is an easy step – all you need is to scrutinize the will your parents left behind. Well, this assumes that you have access to a copy of the will left behind by your parents.
Now, what if the deceased didn’t leave a will telling you who the executor is? Or what If there has been a delay before presenting the will to court?
If you hear nothing about the executor, your role is to try and make sure you identify him using various means. Go ahead and file a petition called a caveat with the court. This document alerts the court that you need to be notified when the will gets to the probate.
The Role of the Estate Planning Attorney
When your parents leave a house in your name, and you wish to know how the process played out, ask the estate planning attorney. He will assess the circumstances in which you received the house then advise you accordingly.
Make sure to read part 2 of this series, because we are just getting started.