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I’ve Inherited a Property – What Do I Do?

Inheriting a property can be an overwhelming experience. There are several options available to you once the property has been transferred to you including living in it yourself, renting it out, or putting it on the market to sell.

Settle your family affairs quickly & without fuss

The Property Buying Company can make the process of selling your inherited home significantly easier. We can guarantee a quick sale so you can free up funds & settle family affairs quickly.

We understand that handling the sale of a property due to a family bereavement or the death of a close friend can be a particularly stressful and emotional experience. There are often close ties and memories to the property which mean having it around for a long period of time can often draw up unnecessary emotions and upset.

Selling your house because of bereavement through traditional routes can often be long and arduous. If you want to find a fast, easy and reliable way to settle your family affairs after the death of a relative, we can help.

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What is Probate?

Probate is the whole process of administering the possessions & estate of a deceased person. It involves distributing their assets, money & possessions as per the Will, if one is left, which that person is known as the executor of the Will. Keep in mind that you may also have to pay any taxes or debts.

The whole reason for the probate process is to change hands of the estate of a deceased person, there are certain situations in which you might not need probate however, such as if the person who died had jointly owned land or only had savings. In order to find out if you need to go through the probate process you should get in touch with anyone who has access to the estate, which could be a house repayments company for example.

Where Can You Go For Guidance & Advice on Probate?

The whole probate process, applying for it, the costs and whether you need it or not, it’s all quite confusing. Luckily, there are lots of places that you can go for advice, and free advice at that including Government resources and Citizens Advice. There are lots of great resources, and here are just a few of them:

What Documents Do I Need To Provide?

Inherit Property

  • Death certificate
  • Original will 
  • NI number of the deceased
  • Property deeds
  • house repayments information 
  • Bank or building society statements

You’ll also need to make sure that the property is secure and any insurance is up-to-date until you decide what you want to do with it.

Inherited properties are increasingly popular for buyers because they come with no chain in place and offer them the opportunity to refurbish and put their own stamp on the place. They’re also usually at a slightly reduced rate than other properties on the market because of this. 

How Long Does Probate Take?

Probate is a difficult thing to navigate, it depends on a whole variety of different situations but generally speaking, it can take anywhere between 9 and 12 months to completely settle. It really depends on how complex the estate is and who is dealing with it for you, as if it's small and uncomplicated you can expect to complete it in a shorter timeframe.

The reason it takes so long is because there are several stages to probate here's an insight into some of them and how long they can take individually:

  • Gathering the information - 4 to 8 weeks
  • Applying for the grant of representation - 4 to 8 weeks
  • Dividing up the estate - 6 to 9 months

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What Costs Are Involved In Dealing With An Inherited Property?

When you inherit a property there are a few different costs that you need to consider, which you will potentially have to cover.

Taxes - We'll go into more depth on this later but there are a few different taxes you should be aware of, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and income tax.

Morgage - You must check if the property you are inheriting still has a house repayments on it, if it does you will need to take on these payments at least for the duration of probate. You need to get in touch with the house repayments company who will go through their terms in this particular situation.

Insurances & Bills - When you inherit a property you will need to pay the bills for the household. This involves paying the house insurance and council tax, although you may be able to get a discount on council tax for the property being unoccupied, but that depends on the local council.

Are There Taxes To Pay?

As previously mentioned there are 3 different kinds of taxes that you need to consider when inheriting a property, which we will go through below:

Inheritance Tax (IHT) - If the estate of the deceased exceeds £325,000 then you will have to pay inheritance tax which must be paid within six months of the person's death, or you will get charged interest. The tax is considerable, it's set at 40% over the value of that threshold, meaning that if the house is valued at £425,000 you will have to pay £40,000.

Income Tax - If you decide to rent out the property you will have to pay income tax on it, this isn't one to consider if you are planning on occupying the property or selling it.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) - This is a tax applied if you sell an inherited property. Essentially this is a tax paid on the value that the house has gained if the inherited house is valued at £100,000 for example but sells for £150,000 you will have to pay fees on the £50,000. You can find out more about this on our page about Capital Gains Tax.

The Steps To Sell An Inherited Property

One of the main options people explore when they inherited a property is to look into selling it, the additional bills associated with the property can sometime put a financial strain on those who have inherited the property, making this a popular option.

As you might guess by everything we’ve touched on so far, selling an inherited property can be a little bit trickier as there are a couple more steps and hoops to jump through. We’ve detailed a few of the basic steps that you need to undertake in order to sell the property:

  1. Find out if there is a Will – This is the first port of call, you need to find if there’s a will and understand who the executor is and what you have to do in order to get the property to the next stage.
  2. Apply for probate - If in the previous step you find out that you’re the executor of the will then you will need to apply for probate. You are able to do this yourself, but we recommend reading the afore mentioned resources, in particular the Government one. It requires you to firstly understand if you need probate, estimate the property value, pay inheritance tax and have the original will as well as the original death certificate.
  3. Inheritance tax – As we just touched on, you will normally have to pay inheritance tax. This charge will vary, and you can find out more about the rates, again on the Gov.uk website.
  4. Work out & be ready to pay the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) – If you plan on selling the property, then this is where it slightly differs. To sell it you will need to pay CGT, we’ve written a post on whether you have to pay this tax or not.
  5. Sell your property – Once you’ve got through the probate process, it’s time to sell!

If you are looking at selling an inherited property then we would recommend that you seek legal advice, contacting a solicitor is a good start as they will help ensure you stick to the process and pay exactly what you should in regards to taxes.

Is There Anyway To Avoid Capital Gains Tax?

There are a few ways that you can avoid paying CGT, the main one being if you have owned the property for 5+ years and have used it as your home for 2+ of those years you won’t be subject to the tax.

You also are only subject to pay Capital Gains Tax if the property increases in value from the point in which the person died to when you come to sell the property – so if the property doesn’t sell for more than it’s original valuation, you won’t have to pay CGT.

What Happens If Siblings Are Involved?

If you are inheriting the property with other siblings then you all have to agree on what to do next, especially if you plan to sell it. This can often cause a divide which can be difficult to come to a resolution, and you might be forced to go to court if one of the siblings named in the will disagrees on the sale of the property.

Should I Leave My Inherited Property Unoccupied?

A worry for those inheriting property is often it will be left unoccupied, typically whilst the house is going through the probate process. Is this something that you should be concerned with?

The process of probate can usually be quite long, and we would definitely recommend that if the property is going to be months without being lived in that you try and make an attempt to visit it every now and again. Properties can quite quickly fall into disrepair, empty property might have issues with damp, pests or even vandals – as well as things that can go unnoticed, such as a roof tile falling off and causing a leak for instance.

You can get unoccupied home insurance, but this often requires that the property is checked regularly to prevent any damage.

Or Should I Rent My Inherited Property Out?

Another alternative option you have to selling the property is renting it out and getting consistent returns. This would obviously involve yourself, and anyone else on the will, becoming landlords of the property – which could be time consuming.

Want To Sell Your Inherited Property? We’ll Buy It

At The Property Buying Company we’ll look to buy your inherited property quickly, taking all the stress and hassle out of selling. We can also help guide you and advise you on the probate process, as we’re very experience in dealing with the purchase of inherited property having bought several previously.

If you decide to sell your property and don’t have the time or the inclination to sell via an estate agent, then we might be a great option for you. Getting a quote on your inherited property is free of cost, and there’s absolutely no obligation, so why not give it a go?

We’ll buy your property fast, cover the legal costs and can even clear the house before selling it on if this is something you require. As a trade cash buyer, we won’t offer you the full price of the property, but we will offer you a fair price. This is a policy we have for every property we buy, not just probate properties. Our service enables you to get a cash sum in a timescale that suits you and it can take the stress out of the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Like we've mentioned previously navigating the world of probate can be quite confusing! As you can imagine we get a lot of questions around the subject, so we've tried to highlight some of our most common ones & provided answers to help answer questions you may have:

Can you sell an inherited property?

Yes, you can - but you need to be aware that you might have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

What happens when you sell an inherited house?

It works just like a normal house sale, however, if profit is made with a value increase since the house was inherited you will have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

Will I have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on an inherited property?

You will have to pay CGT on an inherited property if the value increases from when the house is inherited to when you sell it - that difference will be taxed.

What documents are required for inheriting property?

To inherit a property you will need a death certificate, original copy of the Will, National Insurance number of the deceased, property deeds, house repayments information and bank or building society statements.

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Your options Average sale length Typical cost to you
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