It’s all too common a story when someone discovers they need to administer a loved one’s estate, via probate or trust administration, when they need to do something to the house. If you inherited a house and the deed was never changed, chances are you have some work to do. You may have been putting it off intentionally, or you may have believed that there was nothing to do, either way, this is the year to get working on it.

Inheriting a house is not as simple as someone passing away and you taking over the property. If there is a deceased homeowner on the deed, there could be trouble in the future. Selling the house, putting work into the house, renting it out, even moving in, can all be complicated when the estate still needs to be administered.

With a new year coming up, there is no better time than the present to put the affairs of your passed loved one in order and to rest. Administering the estate now will save hassle, time and family drama later. The longer you wait, the harder it can become.

Some common misconceptions about inheriting a house might help you decide if you need some help administering an estate.

A will does not avoid probate.

If you were left a property in a will, that is not enough to make it yours. The homeowner who left it to you is likely still the owner on the deed, and until your name is on the deed, it is not yours.

An only child does not automatically become the owner of the property.

After your parents pass away, even if you are the only heir, your name probably is not on the deed, you need to administer the estate in order to change that.

A trust does not avoid administering the estate.

Just because the house is in the name of a trust does not mean that nothing needs to happen. The successor trustee still needs to administer the estate of the deceased homeowner to make sure everything is in order.

Just because you live in the house does not make it yours when the homeowner dies.

If you lived with your loved one in their home before their passing, and have continued to since, you still need to have the estate administered because the house is probably not in your name. This also does not mean that you inherit the house just because you live there, there are other factors.

Just because nothing has gone wrong yet, does not mean something won’t.

If you inherited (or think you inherited) a house from a deceased loved one, now is the time to speak to an attorney about making sure the estate is closed and the property is correctly transferred or sold.

Contact the Boutique Law Group, APLC today to schedule your free consultation or to learn more about what you may need to do with your loved one’s property. We have helped numerous clients to correct their situation and be secure in their homes after the passing the homeowner.