I Inherited a House • How do I Put it in my Name?

If you inherited something from your parents or grandparents, it is an emotional experience but not free from legal formalities. There are a lot associated with it.  If it’s real estate, such as a house, it can be one of the most valuable assets for you.

But you have to meet all the legal formalities to get ownership of that property finally. Even if you plan to sell it or gift it, you first have to get the ownership. Moreover, the nature of the property, the number of legal heirs, and other related aspects affect the legal process.

Many questions might run into your mind. How can you put it in your name? Are there any debts that you inherit with the house? Here is what you need to do when you inherit a house

Things to keep an eye on when you inherited a house

Is the house part of a Probated Will?

If the deceased had a will, it would automatically specify the names of the heirs. It can be a relative, solicitor, or friend. The heirs have to pay the taxes, clear the debts and distribute the real estate. The house cannot be shifted to beneficiaries until the probate is completed. 

If the deceased died without any will, still the property will be probated. After the court determines the rightful owner, the administrator’s deed will be issued to you to show you as the house owner.

If the deceased didn’t complete the transfer-on-death deed, you must follow the chain of succession mentioned in the will. If the deceased was not married, you could obtain the executor’s deed, which shows that you are the new owner of the house.

Check whether the house was jointly owned

Before determining what to do, you need to check the original deed to know whether it was jointly owned or not. If it was jointly owned, the surviving owner now owns the property completely. And the deed cannot be transferred to you until the surviving owner gives consent.

Check whether it has a mortgage

If the inherited property has a mortgage, you need to sort it out. If the deceased has life insurance, you can use it to clear the mortgage. If the debt wasn’t clear with life insurance, you have to discuss it with the lender on the available possibilities before passing the property. Once you pay all debts, the deed transfer process occurs.

➡LEARN MORE: How does the First-time Homebuyer Tax Credit Works?

Get a certified death certificate

In the case of the transfer-on-death deed, it is possible only with a certified death certificate.

If you already signed it, the process will be pretty simple. The deed will be transferred as soon as the owner’s death is proven with a death certificate. The property will be yours, and you don’t have to do anything else.

Draft a new deed

Now, you have to draft a new deed under your name as a new property owner. The deed should include your:

  • Full name 
  • Current address
  • Name and address of the deceased
  • The address and location of the property
  • Parcel number
  • Property description 
  • Co-owner names (if you co-inherited the property)

After drafting the deed, you need to notarize it and send it to the county recorder’s office along with the deceased’s death certificate. You should complete the process within 30ndays. 

Now, if you want to sell this inherited house, the process will be no different than selling your own house.

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