You Inherit A Home, Now What?

By Chris Tymchuck
Founding Attorney

A Minnesota Probate Lawyer Explains Some of Your Options Upon Inheriting a Home

When you inherit a house, your primary concern should be figuring out how to secure and maintain the home until you decide what to do with it. Can family or neighbors help? Do you need to install a security system? Can someone stay in the home? Maintaining the home will be important to protect its value.

Next, determine what the home is worth. You can use an online resource  to get an approximate estimate of the home’s value. However, online sites may not have up-to-date information on the property. A realtor familiar with the area will be your best resource.

Does the home have a mortgage on it? If the home is worth less than the remaining mortgage amount, you may decide the best course of action is to let the house go to foreclosure, in which case you would not continue making the mortgage payments. If you determine that there will be a reasonable profit in selling the home, then you will need to make arrangement to maintain the mortgage payments while you are preparing the property for sale.

If you do not make the mortgage payments, the lender has the right to foreclose on the property.

What about taxes? When you inherit a home, the value of the home on the decedent’s date of death becomes the cost basis for tax purposes. I won’t get into this here but this is the main reason you would rather inherit property than have it given (gifted) to you during your parents life.

You may also wish to consider renting out the home. Perhaps as an investment property, it will provide more benefit to you than what you can achieve if you sell it and invest the proceeds. Please note that renting the home has its own legal issues/considerations that you will want to research before posting an ad on Craigslist.

Minnesota Probate Lawyers

An experienced Minnesota probate lawyer can help walk you through the complicated process of transferring assets to the proper heirs/beneficiaries.. For more information on the probate process in Minnesota, along with a variety of other topics, contact Chris Tymchuck of Unique Estate Law at (952) 955-7623. 

About the Author
As a Minneapolis Estate Planning and Probate attorney I help build and protect families through the adoption, estate planning, and probate processes. I also have experience working with families on issues related to their small businesses. I know how difficult it is to find time to plan for the future and I am here to help walk you through it.