Under ideal circumstances, inheriting property would be a relatively simple process. A beneficiary is named by will or a living trust; and assuming there’s no contest, it’s simply a matter of legally executing its terms.
But real estate can be an entirely different beast. Not only is there a question of tax liability and mortgage payments to attend to, but there’s a host of minutiae you may have never even considered. Namely, deeds.
Legally, a deed needs to be changed when you inherit property to reflect your new ownership. And in some cases, a legal representative or executor will likely have that responsibility. But what happens when property winds up in probate? More importantly, what happens if you intend on selling your home after you inherit it?
How To Change A Deed When You Inherit Property
1. Is The Property Part Of A Probated Will?
In Utah, probate may be required if a will specifically names an heir to real property. However, there is both an informal (where courts can appoint a personal representative for an estate without a hearing) probate and formal probate (where a hearing can be declared if there is some disagreement about the validity of a will) process. In some cases where an executor’s deed was drafted, the former should be a fairly simple process if there is no disagreement from the executor. In both instances, you must be at least 21 years old in order to file a case.
2. Was The Property Jointly Owned?
This will be indicated on the initial deed itself. If the property is jointly owned and one party on the deed is still living, the deed itself can not be transferred to you without their express consent.
3. Obtain A Certified Death Certificate
Under Utah state law, a transfer on death deed for real property can be obtained only with a certified death certificate. If a transfer on death deed was already signed for you previously (a fairly common practice), the deed should automatically be transferred to you upon proof of death.
4. Draft A New Deed Under Your Name As Property Owner
This should include:
- Your full name and current address
- The name and address of the deceased
- The address and location of the property
- The parcel number
- A description of the property
- The names of co-owners if you co-inherited the property
Upon drafting the new deed, have it notarized (the executor of the will may need to be present our allow their express written consent) and deliver it along with the will of the deceased and the death certificate to the county recorder’s office. The process in total should take no longer than 30 days.
Can I Sell My Inherited Home?
Selling your inherited home is no different than selling your own property. As long as there is no contest, no existing liens and your name is on the deed, the property legally belongs to you.
Keep in mind that while there are advantages to keeping your home, the additional tax burden, mortgage payments and the cost of upkeep may not be worth the hassle. If you’d prefer to sell directly, we’re Gary Buys Houses. We’ve been purchasing inherited property in Utah for over a decade now, and specialize in both sales and assisting with any questions about the inheritance process. We’ll purchase property from you as is, and in as little as 3-5 business days; quickly, legally and without the uncertainty of having to go through a real estate agent.