Selling your parents’ home after they pass away can be a long and draining process. If you know what to expect, however, it does not have to be an impossible ordeal.
Losing your parents is always difficult, and to add stress to an already emotional situation, you have to deal with their estate—the sooner the better. Part of handling your deceased parents’ estate includes knowing how you are going to deal with the house.
If you inherit the home directly, the process can be simple, but if you are not the only named heir and your parents did not name an executor, you will have to work with others to come to an agreement before you can sell.
Here are a few steps to take when selling your parents’ home after they pass away.
Know Who Is the Executor of Your Parents’ Estate
Being an heir to your parents’ estate does not mean that you get to make the decisions regarding assets such as the family home. Before you can even begin thinking of selling the home, you need to find out who is the executor of the estate.
In a best-case scenario, the estate plan will name a single decision maker. When an executor is not named in an estate plan, each heir has an equal say in how the property is distributed, which can result in a years-long legal fight.
Review Your Parents’ Finances
Heirs are not the only party interested in where an estate’s assets end up. When you inherit an estate, you also inherit any debts associated with it.
You will need to gain access to your parents’ bank accounts to ensure that their monthly bills and debts are covered. If you require any of the bills to continue to be paid—for instance, the insurance policy on the home—you must make sure those continue to be paid on time.
You will also need to notify any creditors that your parents are deceased by submitting a death certificate to them, as well as the credit bureaus and Social Security Administration.
Understand the Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
You may think that your parents’ home is covered under their homeowner’s insurance policy, but that is not always the case. If the home is going to sit vacant while you try to sell it, you will need to inquire about whether you need a special policy that covers an empty home.
Homes that sit empty for any period of time are more susceptible to burglary and vandalism, and the regular policy may refuse to cover these damages.
Be Ready for the Tax Implications of Selling the Home
Taxes will also come into play if you plan on selling your parents’ home after they pass away.
Understanding how federal and state taxes on inheritance work is critical.
Selling Your Parents’ Home after They Pass Away Is Complicated
The above are not the only complexities that you need to worry about when selling a home you have inherited. If you need help, the attorneys at Casal & Moreno are ready to guide you. Contact us today.