Dealing with the loss of a beloved family member or very close friend is a stressful time that can become even more complicated by suddenly finding yourself immersed in dealing with an inheritance. It may be challenging to focus, so we have outlined five things to do immediately after inheriting a house in Philadelphia
1. Have Open Lines of Communication
Communication truly is the key to success when dealing with other heirs after inheriting a house in Philadelphia. Despite the modern conveniences of technology that eliminate the problems of heirs being far distances apart through virtual meetings, it is still common for multiple heirs to have differing opinions on what to do with a property. Emotions, too, can play a role in how these communications may play out. It is crucial to keep the focus of these discussions on facts.
Time and time again we have seen families break up over the sale or retention of their properties once the original owner dies. It’s sad to see and it really shouldn’t get to this point but unfortunately sometimes it does. It is extremely important to be able to compromise with all family members involved so there is no resentment or animosity.
If you are aware in advance of conflicting dynamics, or it becomes apparent that things are taking a turn for the worse, it may be worth hiring a mediator the help during negotiations. One heir can force the sale of the property through foreclosure. However, the profits from this approach would be dismal, usually yielding around two-thirds of the fair market value (FMV).
2. Start The Probate Process
When there are assets to be distributed, unless your loved one sets up a living trust and the acquisition is funded into the trust, you must file probate following the inheritance of a house in Philadelphia. Probate is the settling of the affairs of a decedent in court. For probate to begin, the court must legally establish an executor or personal representative of the estate. Firstly, there must be collecting and accounting of the assets during the probate process. There must also be communication with the beneficiaries, which provides an accounting. Any claims from creditors must be satisfied along with the settlement of estate taxes if any. The probate court must also resolve disputes between any heirs for the trust or estate and, finally, the assets distributed.
3. Assign/Acknowledge Executor
Being named an executor when you inherit a house in Philadelphia is an enormous responsibility. You must design and execute the plan for communications among the heirs. You will also need to develop the accounting methods for the trust or estate to be delivered when called for during probate. As the executor, you will have to gather the assets and also establish a relationship with the attorney, accountant, and other necessary professionals to complete the process. Be careful that you take every step possible to avoid mismanagement and follow all laws and not take any steps in your self-interest. Your prime directive in this position is to act above reproach and honor the will or trust, carefully adhering to the documents that are relevant and the intent of the deceased as outlined.
4. Understand Financial Responsibilities
It is imperative to understand the financial aspects immediately upon inheriting a house in Philadelphia. In addition to paying the mortgage and insurance, you will need to crunch the numbers on any debt associated with the property. If you aren’t sure if there is any debt remaining, the best two ways to find out are to perform a title search which will list all liens and judgements that may affect the property or visit the Philadelphia Real Estate Tax Balance site.
In addition to the mortgage, obligations for repairs, or liens on the estate, you should consider tax liabilities. The IRS charges a specialized tax on capital gains, calculated on the difference between the original purchase price and the current fair market value. Additionally, the condition and age of the property matter as homes age, and repair expenses can be overwhelming. If time or distance is at issue, you should also account for hiring caretakers or hiring a professional property management service if you hold the property.
In Philadelphia you are responsible for paying all real estate tax and water charges to the city. In addition, don’t get caught off guard by the inheritance tax which is collected by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is an important part of the inheritance process because if you fail to pay your taxes by March 31 it will result in penalties and increased monthly charges. And if they go unpaid past January 1st of the following year, the City can place a tax lien on your home and sell it in a Sheriff Sale. If paying the taxes is a struggle for you, there are some Real Estate Tax Relief programs that you can check out here.
5. Decide to Hold or Sell
If you have decided against holding the property – EZ Real Estate Solutions LLC will pay a great price and help you through the entire selling process after inheriting a house in Philadelphia. We understand that its difficult for heirs to move on with life after losing a loved one. When you decided to sell to EZ Real Estate Solutions LLC, we can usually close in about 14-21 days and you can be relieved of the burdens that came with the property. We take the time to explain every figure used to reach our offer and that you agree it is fair. EZ Real Estate Solutions LLC uses straightforward contracts with no commissions or hidden fees because our goal is to make the process easy. We will take care of everything, just leave whatever you do not want to keep in the home and walk away.
Or, if you decide you want to list the house on the open market, we can help you with that as well because we are also licensed agents. Whichever way you decide to go, EZ Real Estate Solutions LLC is happy to help guide you. We will answer any questions or concerns you may have with no obligation. There is nothing wrong with reaching out for help with any questions you may have or if you feel overwhelmed with any task. You will find dedicated experts willing to share their experience and help you along the way. Just give us a call at 215-770-0260 or send us a message to learn how to solve your inheritance problems.