I Inherited My Parents' Home, Now What?
he median age for Boca Raton is around 47 years old with a 65 an older population making up around 25%. While many of the retirees migrate to the area, sometimes their children will inherit the property. If you’ve recently inherited your mom’s luxury condo, you must know what to do before and after the inevitable. In this article we outline some important factors for those with an inheritance of a Boca Raton home.
Unless you make other plans, most homeowners will ensure they sell their properties with funding placed in a trust and then distribute the money to the children or the recipients listed in the will. Sometimes, children may not want a property where their deceased parents live. If that’s the case, the best thing to do is sell, but there are some legal ramifications where you may need to be aware.
If you’re a child of an elderly person who is living in Boca Raton be sure to create an estate plan and share with all who need to know. Even if the penthouse is a vacation home, it’s responsible to make sure you, mom and/or dad will have plans so the rest of the family will know what course of action to take. These tips will help you solve and prepare.
1st Start a Family Conversation
Family members and estate owners need to have a conversation to help everyone see the clearest picture of what will happen with their property. You want to do this while the homeowner is still alive and coherent to decide. Don’t wait until the last minute or till the person has passed to discuss as it will be too late. Often, living parents will call on a family meeting or gathering to lie down their intentions and get the family’s feedback. For example, Jan and Tom called an all family meeting and found their kids wanted to keep the property rather than sell and use it as their vacation home. Each adult child agreed to pay for the HOA fees and maintenance and schedule condo vacationing times much like a time share. Because the parents held a discussion while they were still alive, they could help their children navigate toward the best decision.
2nd Create a Solid Estate Plan with an Attorney-Mediator to Avoid Probate Court
After Tom and Jan held their meeting, they created a solid estate plan with their attorney to avoid probate court. They appointed their oldest daughter Suzanne to be the power of attorney and their son Chris to be an administrator. Also, planning meant filing beneficiary forms, and they talked about how their life insurance policy would be deliverable. Not to mention, they asked for a health care directive in the event they could not make health care decisions. Planning was making Tom and Jan feel more at ease knowing their kids would be fine and could manage without disputes.
3rd In Florida the No Contest Clause is Non-Existent
In some states a Terrorem or ‘No contest’ clause exists. However, the state of Florida doesn’t recognize this law or provision. Therefore, beneficiaries can’t be held liable for contesting a will or the proceedings with the real estate. A person in the family can negotiate or challenge the will without a penalty. In other states where they allow these provisions, family members can be subject to being coerced to accept the will regardless of the outcome. In most cases, they treat recipients fairly and respectfully there won’t be a dispute. If Suzanne’s brother Hank wants to fight something in the will, he can do so without being penalized.
4th Keeping the Home from Probate
Try to avoid any auction or police sale when you can, as you may find the property to sell for substantially less than the home is worth. You should also keep a lawyer to review the trust and will to answer questions you may have about the law. This can save a lot of time and heartache as the authorities play a 3rd party and are non-biased to the situation.
5th Hire A Realtor to Valuate the Estate
Hire a realtor for an evaluation of the estate and help the family sell faster. Agents who specialize in luxury condos are usually suitable to assist in these cases. They help the family market the property and help lead buyers even if you don’t live in the state. In most cases, luxurious condominiums require an appointment and don’t offer open house showings. The realtor will escort potential homeowners to avoid any damages or issues with your parent’s estate. In addition, realtors are constantly networking and marketing their properties to find the right buyers and not just anyone walking through the house. It's best to clear out any belongings if you can and securing the property if its vacant.
6th Placing the Home in a Limited Liability or a Trust
In most cases, you’ll have a lawyer assisting you to avoid probate court. However, it’s advisable to place the home in a limited liability or trust while determining the fate of the home. Protecting your assets are important for both you and the rest of the living family. They use the LLC for preventing creditors from taking the home or property inside. A trust prevents waiting forever for the decisions of the probate court. Both are important components you should include in your estate planning.
7th Buying out the Other Family Members
If your parents are now deceased and would like to keep the condo, it may entitle you buying out the other siblings or people listed in the will. Again, if your parents held a family meeting and everyone was present, knowing the decisions, this process should be easier. However, family and finances can be a problem. You must qualify for the mortgage if there’s still one active. Also, be certain you know the full picture with the property understanding every nickel or dime you’re now responsible for paying. One benefit is lower closing costs making this a nice deal for the right homebuyer.
8th Taxes, Maintenance and HOA Fees
When losing a loved one, you and the family are tackling enough. However, the banks, the HOA and South Florida Light will still expect to receive payment for taxes and maintenance fees. A trust will help to pay some of these expenses but can quickly add up if not acted upon right away. Be sure to have these types of responsibilities laid out prior to the person’s passing if possible.
In the event you’ve lost a loved one and would like to speak with one of our realtors about your family’s property, call us. We are the professionals who can give you guidance and work along with your attorney. A good estate plan is crucial for keeping everyone in good standing. Be sure to speak to a Financial Planner or someone who can lead your family down a path of peace during this transaction.