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What To Do When You Inherit Property

Whether it's the passing of a spouse or a distant family member, there may come a time in your life where you find yourself inheriting real estate. What you do from here is critical as there is a lot that goes along with the transfer of property. There may be a trust involved, a will, the need for probate, multiple possible heirs..., etc..., How you should proceed should be discussed with a competent attorney to make sure your interests are protected. I will share information here of someone that can help with a consultation, but in the meantime, I wanted to point out the most common misconception regarding property inheritance.

Over the years I've been contacted by many clients wanting help with property they've inherited. Whether you plan on keeping the home, or selling it, it's crucial that you know the flaw in in the statements I'm sharing with you below. Here are just a few statements that came from recently referred clients:

  • 'I don't own the house, my husband does, and he's passed away, so they can't take it from me. They can't foreclose on a deceased person!'
  • 'Yeah, I received foreclosure paperwork, but ignored it, because it was in my mother's name not mine. I'm not being foreclosed on'
  • 'My mom had this property in Trust, the Bank can't take the home from a Trust'
  • 'I'm living in the house already, but haven't made the mortgage payment. Why should I, the loan is not in my name?!
  • 'I just quick claim deeded the property to my friend, so the Bank can't take the property from me, because I don't own it!'

You'd be surprised how often I hear the statements above. It's really frustrating knowing that there is this much mis-information out there so let's go ahead and clear this up right away.

When there is a Mortgage on a home, that document is essentially the 'pay to stay' document. Minus all the legal jargon on it, it basically says that if you pay the mortgage payment, taxes and insurance we, the mortgage lender, will let you live here. The Mortgage document itself is filed in the clerk's office and is the mortgage lenders security interest in the home. It gives the mortgage lender the legal right to reclaim the property should the mortgage payment not be made.

Now, let's dispel the misconceptions completely, here is the deal: if the mortgage payment is not paid, the mortgage lender has and will execute their legal right to reclaim the property. They will do so REGARDLESS of who owns the home. It doesn't matter if there is a Trust, a Will, if you deeded the home to someone else or if you are or aren't responsible for the mortgage payment. It's as plain and simple as that.

So with that being said, whether or not you intend to keep the property you inherited, you MUST consult with a competent attorney immediately. Only an attorney can tell you what is the best plan of action for you given your particular situation. Below I've provided a link to a very helpful website with lots of good information to scroll through.


If you've inherited a home and are looking to refinance it into your own name please contact me. As always consultations are free and better yet if you move forward and close a loan with me you'll receive a $500 credit at closing to be applied to your closing costs!

Contact Wendy 7 days a week for more information:

Phone or Text: 321-504-1175
Email: wendy@aloaninthesun.com
Facebook Messenger: @aloaninthesun

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