Have you inherited property in central PA and are now facing a whirlwind of chaos?
Dealing with paperwork can be difficult for anyone, but it presents an even greater challenge if you have experienced the loss of your parents. The vulnerability that accompanies such emotional turmoil may make everything seem at once pointless and frighteningly urgent.
Receiving an inherited property can be overwhelming for some. Even if you’ve had a peaceful relationship with your brothers and sisters, the process of moving through probate court will at least take years before a resolution is achieved. This article will help you navigate how to deal with an inherited property when your family is involved.
Check out these five tips for siblings on how to navigate inherited properties in Central Pennsylvania.
Make Sure You Have the Right Motivations
At times, when a parent decides to distribute inheritance among their children, they can favor some of them over others. However, by doing so the parent may knowingly subject those kids to worse financial situations in life. Alternatively, there are parents where one child is favored and thus placed in charge of another child’s inheritance; this is just as bad because it can create friction between siblings, as well as conflict among family members.
You should never get involved in a family dispute over inheritance unless you have the right motivations behind your involvement.
For instance, if your motivation is to favor one sibling over another, then that will likely cause lots of internal rift between your siblings. Likewise favoring your personal ambitions can be construed as tasteless to your siblings.
If one of your main motivations is to take care of the family unit as a whole, then it might be best if you act as a mediator between all parties involved. The goal of mediation would be to come up with an agreement that would work for everyone and help them move on in life.
If you have the right reasons for dealing with an inherited property in your family, you will be able to reach a good solution that is beneficial to all parties. This will create an environment in which everyone feels comfortable working through issues until they find resolutions that work.
Ultimately, the motivation comes down to wanting what’s best for everybody involved; if this is your position, it will be much easier for you to create a long-lasting solution that is beneficial for everyone.
Stay Peaceful Throughout the Process
The sad truth is that more than two-thirds of Americans die without a will in place. A critical piece of advice for siblings dealing with an inherited property in central Pennsylvania: communicate! Unless you can have civil discussions about business, it may be wise to bring in an impartial mediator before the situation gets out of hand and battle flares up among the siblings.
This is especially true if you are dealing with a family property such as an inherited home or real estate. Inherited homes in Pennsylvania can be subject to state laws governing how and when they must be sold; so unless all of the siblings agree on what to do, this process could take years before it’s resolved. Ticking off a family member will most likely prolong an already long process!
If the deceased parent left a will behind, the entire family may need to follow its terms without any input from the other siblings. Inherited property is particularly likely to end up in court if your family has existing conflicts between them.
Place One Person in Charge
Inherited property can be managed more efficiently with some planning ahead of time – one good strategy is to appoint a point person to make sure everyone is communicated with. This could be the Trustee or a family member that is nominated among your siblings. It may be best for everyone to share the responsibility and make sure someone is delegated as a leader. Siblings sharing a family home may need to coordinate property management duties if they don’t want one person to take on the full responsibility. Property management is no easy task for those who aren’t currently landlords, so you may want to look into hiring one during this time.
Be As Fair As Possible
Being realistic about an inherited property in Central PA means accepting that disagreements are inevitable, but you can prepare for these situations early on by being flexible. For example, you can agree to use majority rules for smaller decisions like paint color as well as more significant ones like who should live there full-time. Before working with an inherited property, create a set of ground rules to prevent arguments among siblings. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and certain siblings don’t think they are being taken advantage of.
Know Your Ongoing Costs
Inherited property is particularly expensive if you don’t know what you are doing. Taxes, utilities, ongoing maintenance, mortgage obligations, and insurance costs can all add up quickly. These ongoing costs can make keeping the home very unattractive over time.
Inherited property is likely to have tax assessments against it, and these taxes will need to be paid on a regular schedule. Since Central Pennsylvania Inherited homes are not automatically assigned through the probate court, you may not receive notice of an assessment until after the bill has already been sent. Be sure you know what you need to do if your inherited home has a tax lien against it.
Additionally, all properties in Pennsylvania are assessed and taxed on a calendar year to pay for services. Inherited homes in Central Pennsylvania are subject to this tax assessment year, and you will need to make your payment by December 31st of each year. If you miss the deadline, there could be hefty fees for late or partial payment. To avoid missing deadlines at all costs, set up an account with the county immediately after receiving notice about inherited property. In PA you usually pay three separate property taxes: county, municipality, and school district.
The inherited property also has utility bills that must be paid on a regular schedule. Inherited homeowners in Central Pennsylvania may find their initial utilities to be higher than normal, as this price is often set at a base level for the entire year. It’s important to note the difference between these prices and the sum of all utilities over time. Water, sewer, gas, and electricity are common utilities that will need to be transferred into you or a sibling’s name to pay.
Inherited property in Central Pennsylvania may need a lot of maintenance or repairs. No one can predict if the home will be in good shape or not, but you can plan ahead and decide what to do if there are problems along the way. If the property is inherited from a family member that has recently passed away, it’s likely their estate will still have a role in how the property is maintained or disposed of. It’s best to talk with family members about your plans for Inherited Real Estate so everyone can make an informed decision based on their individual needs. Normally you will pay 1-2% of the properties value in upkeep on the property per year. Flooring, the roof, and other elements will fade over time and will need to be replaced.
Inheriting a property should not put you into financial danger, so it’s important to discuss payment options and plans with family members before taking over the mortgage payments. Spreading out these payments over time as well as selling the inherited home may help to reduce costs to you. Try to get an updated mortgage statement from the lender, often they will send them after being notified of the previous owner’s death. You will need a copy of this statement to transfer the ownership.
Another cost of Inherited properties is insurance, and you should be aware that these rates may go up once you take over ownership. If the inherited property has existing coverage, talk to a Central Pa Inherited home insurance agent to see what options are available to you. We prefer using Gibble Insurance, which can offer you a variety of coverage options depending on whether the property will be vacant or not. This alone could save you thousands of dollars.
Sell and Divide
For Pennsylvania-based siblings who inherited an estate, the decision to sell what they’ve been given is a difficult one. When you face financial duress and can’t afford your share of the burden or when familial strain prevents you from obtaining financial stability, that’s usually a sign to sell the property and split up any assets offered.
Often inherited properties are not passed down in the best of shape and require updates or constant maintenance. Components like roofing, electric systems, and plumbing all have to be replaced or restored in order for the property to become profitable again. Inherited homes in Pennsylvania can cost a significant amount of money to maintain, especially if the family keeps it on a rental property or chooses one sibling among them that is responsible for paying the mortgage.
If you’re part of an inherited family home and struggle with how to pay your share of expenses, know that you are not alone. Inheritance issues are common among family real estate, especially when one sibling wants out of their obligation to keep up with the costs at this property. If you discover that you can’t afford a share in the expense for the inherited house, it may be time to sell and divide. You can contact an investor or real estate agent to give you the fair market value of your house. Before you sell make sure to consult a CPA to talk about capital gains taxes or inheritance taxes should they apply to you.
Partner Up With Investors
At 717 Home Buyers, we can help you avoid lengthy and complicated disagreements with your siblings as you make the tough decision to sell an inherited property in Central Pennsylvania. Want more information? As a specialist in home buying, we have years of experience closing quickly when clients are ready. With our pro-active team approach, everything is kept straightforward and easy for everyone involved. We work directly with your family to resolve inheritances and are equipped with the necessary resources to close real estate deals quickly – even when there is an executor on board who may delay the process unnecessarily. Think you might need someone to help you sell Inherited Property? Let us know! Our experienced team of professionals will evaluate your property and give you an offer in under 48 hours.
About Josh Eberly
A native of Lancaster County, Josh’s roots run deep in his commitment to this community. He especially enjoys helping people find solutions through real estate. Josh is a seasoned investor with experience in many sides of buying and investing in real estate. Josh enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, digital marketing, and hanging out with his family. Feel free to connect with him here.