Four Things to Do If You Inherit a House

Property as an inheritance is commonplace across the country. Your parent or other elderly family member may have left you a home or a piece of land in their will. Now that you own this new place what are the right steps to ensure that everything is properly taken care of?

Talk to a tax professional.

The best thing you can do is learn about the tax issues that come along with taking possession of the home.  Should you decide to lease the property to someone else, the rental payments will influence your income taxes. A tax professional can help you understand important tax details.

Is the house paid for or did you inherit a mortgage?

There will be significant differences in the legal implications if the home has a mortgage. If you’re related, chances are you will be able to assume the mortgage, but if you inherit a house from an individual to whom you’re not related there are multiple steps that need to be taken.

Talk to family members about options.

The death of a loved one can be intensely stressful and emotions sometimes get the better of people involved. About the only way to avoid sibling rivalry is to be an only child. If you have siblings, we can help you keep the peace by discussing all your options. We can give you comparable sales to help estimate the property’s value so you can come up with a fair buyout price or sales price. One of our attorneys can discuss ways to share ownership, too.

Have the house thoroughly inspected.

You wouldn’t buy a home without an inspection, so don’t automatically assume the risk of a family home without the same protection. You may find it needs major repairs and it’s easier to sell the home and buy something in better shape. You want to know as much as you can about the structure and systems in the property as possible.

Ericson, Scalise & Mangan attorneys are here to guide you through your real estate and estate planning transactions. Contact us today for sound legal guidance.

Do you have questions?

Count on your experienced team at Ericson, Scalise & Mangan, PC to provide you with sound guidance for your Estate Planning, Elder Law, Real Estate, Probate, Trust & Estate Administration, and other legal needs. For assistance, contact us today at (860) 229-0369, or email us at

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