Inheritance and Tax - Property

publication date: May 20, 2011
 | 
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Inheritance and Tax - Property


When should you sell if someone has died, leaving you their property?


It's rough when a close relative or friend dies and as well as the grief of losing them there is a horrible amount of paperwork to do which can be quite tough from a personal perspective. If you do inherit a home from someone who has died, it's worth taking your time to work out when is the right time to sell and indeed, if you have to sell at all.

At the start, don't worry too much about the home until after the funeral. It's worth clearing out the things you will need to such as food and making sure the bins have been emptied. Next you need to check the insurance. Most home insurers won't cover a property if it's empty for 30 days or more, so check and if necessary switch insurance companies.

Once you've managed to get all the paperwork done and got through the funeral, it's worth sitting down and discussing with everyone involved what to do with the home. There may be some inheritance tax considerations, so you'll need to check these with a specialist. One thing you can do in the interim is consider renting the property out. There will be lots of things you need to do to be able to do this, such as clear the property of furniture, have the electrics checked and if required upgraded, but many of the tasks will help to add value to the home or help it sell quicker, so it can be a worthwhile exercise.

Some people who are inheriting property actually decide to buy it and move in, especially if you have a young or growing family and the property has more space. This can be a bit more tricky if several people have inherited the home, but finances can be arranged to help ensure others are compensated and it will save selling the home to a stranger.

If no-one wants to rent or buy the home, when you are happy and the estate is sorted, you can look at selling the property. Properties that are selling in today's market are priced fairly (high priced properties will struggle to get viewings) and are either a ‘wreck' that people want to do up or a ‘show home' so, depending on the property you have to sell, it might need nothing doing to it, or need bringing up to show home standard to help with viewings and secure the best price.


Also take a look at some of our other related articles:-


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