Inheriting a House

Inheriting a house might sound like a financial windfall. But managing that inheritance is a pretty complex process that can affect your entire financial future, in some ways, negatively. Learn why you should never consider property inheritance “found money.”

Inheriting a house isn’t like winning the lottery or hitting black in Vegas. Once that home is in your hands, you assume all the responsibilities — legal and financial — for that property. If part of the roof blows off and smacks into your neighbor’s car, it’s on you. If someone comes on your property and breaks a leg, it’s (probably) on you. Empty homes are like magnets for vandals and thieves, so you have those worries too. Having a plan — right from the very start — is the best way to make sure you avoid negative financial impact that can drain your existing savings and even turn your retirement plans upside down.

What To Do When You Inherit a House

If you are inheriting a house, then you are the beneficiary of an estate. Settling an estate can be time-consuming and draining, especially while grieving the loss of this loved one. Once you have inherited the property, you’ll need to make several key decisions.

Occupancy
Is anyone living there?
Insurance
Is the insurance on the home up to date?
Personal Property
What do you want to do with the items inside the home?
Utilities
Which utilities need to stay on and which can be turned off ?

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