Bereavement Property Legals

Bereavement Property Legals

“Bereavement Property Legals”

How to legally sell inherited property

When you sell your own property you’ll usually know all the relevant facts.  Facts such as, whose names are on the Deeds, whether there is an outstanding mortgage or other ‘charges’ in place.  In the case of  bereavement property legals – approach with caution.

Whenever you are selling a property you have inherited, things can be a lot more complicated.  Nevertheless the legalities and practicalities will be more or less the same.

When you add other aspects such as the ‘Wills, Estates and Probate’ process to the mix, it can become quite a daunting task to ensure that you avoid legal problems when selling a property that you have inherited.

Property security

It may sound obvious but when losing a loved means that a property becomes empty you need to make sure that it is safe and secure.   Lock all doors and windows and turn off all taps and appliances. Many insurance policies will become void when a policyholder passes away.   So remove and store safely any items of value.  Also check with the insurance provider to see if the property is still covered and inform them that it is now unoccupied.

Inherited property and wills

If the deceased left a will naming you as sole owner of the property in question, things are always easier.  However shared ownership, for instance with siblings, is common.  This shouldn’t necessarily present a problem if there is agreement amongst all parties to sell.

Intestacy is when someone dies without a will (‘intestate’).  This situation becomes more complex.  Under inheritance law the next of kin will generally be appointed and named as the Administrator and it will up to them to decide whether a Grant of Letters of Administration is needed.

Probate property

The legal process by which an executor of a will is given the legal authority to act on behalf of the deceased is called PROBATE.  The granting of probate usually takes around six to eight weeks. From then on, it depends on the size of the estate as to how quickly things such as the sale of property can get moving.

HMRC will require an accurate figure of the value of property for probate purposes, so it can be a good idea to involve an estate agent or surveyor in the process as soon as you feel ready. It’s important to note however that should you eventually sell the property for more than the probate value, you could be liable for Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

Inheritance Tax on property

The situation regarding inheritance tax is subject to many variables.  The Government makes changes to thresholds and allowances from time to time.

The spouse or civil partner of a deceased person won’t have to pay inheritance tax under normal circumstances. However, depending on the residential status of the property, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) may be due.

Property advice

It’s no secret that selling your property can be one of life’s most stressful experiences.  When you are selling whilst dealing with all the other emotions involved in bereavement it can be particularly difficult.

When selling an inherited property you’ll notice some differences that need to be acknowledged and accommodated.  Nevertheless, in many other ways, it is the same as selling in happier times.  Never underestimate bereavement property legals – especially if you’re having to ‘fact find’ to begin with.

Make sure everything goes smoothly once you have made the decision to sell.  This is where taking professional advice is an absolute must.  Professionals include your solicitor, surveyor and tax specialist who will be able to help in specific ways.  It often pays to take advice to avoid costly mistakes.

As an estate agent I have helped many clients through this type of challenging and often emotionally difficult process.

For a ‘no obligation’ chat Feel free to get in touch… or call 01273735237