You’ve inherited a home now what?

You’ve inherited a home now what?

 Inheriting a home comes with a lot of responsibilities and decision making by the heir(s). If you have a loved one that has passed on and you’ve inherited their home or are the executor of the estate, below is a guideline to help you through the process before you decide whether or not to sell or keep the home.

Making sure the home is secure and re-keying is extremely important. (it’s almost impossible to know who may have a key).  Notify the local police department that the property is now vacant. Speak with trusted neighbors and ask them to keep an eye on the property.

  • Set up lights with timers to make the home appear to be occupied.
  • Make sure mail is forwarded or regularly picked up and no leaflets are left at the door/porch.
  • Continue making mortgage payments, property tax payments, home insurance payments and utility payments.
  • Make sure you can maintain the home or hire someone for the yard/home maintenance.
  • If the property is still vacant in the winter, you should winterize the property.
  • Make sure the home insurance company knows the property is vacant- this is very important!
  • Secure and remove all personal papers from the home (ie: wills, bank statements)
  • Start to inventory all items in the property of value for tax purposes and to track for all the heirs. You also may want to photograph or video the homes contents. Heirs should start removing all items they want once the inventory has been completed.
  • Contact a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist that works with reliable contractors to handle estate sales, clean out, trash removal, staging and repairs.  Get a free comparable market evaluation of the homes worth in its current condition (selling “as is”), as well as,  getting the value of the home with minor upgrades such as fresh paint, new flooring and other small projects.
  • Have a family meeting to discuss all the information you’ve been given about the option of selling or keeping the house.

You can sell the home any time during the probate process in Kentucky once you have your letter of administration from the probate court- you do not need to wait 6 months to sell- the proceeds from the sale can be held in escrow or in the estate account until creditor claim period is completed.

Author- Sallie C Schneider, Realtor, Vice President of the Estate/Probate Division of Smith Wilson Realty.













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