What to Do With Inherited Property

Depending on your circumstances, inheriting property in New York can either be the biggest blessing or the biggest headache.

No matter which way you view it, there are inherently many challenges when dealing with inherited property. This is especially true if you inherited the property unexpectedly or have never owned property before in New York. Simply stated, it’s easy to get overwhelmed whether you’re a novice or veteran owner.

Below we will discuss the ins and outs of inheriting property and the basics options on what to do with inherited if you find yourself in this situation.


Inherited Property Defined


To inherit property means that someone you know has passed away and left you with ownership of their property. You may also inherit property from a friend or relative who voluntarily named you as a successor to their property before death. Notably, you may inherit solely or together with other beneficiaries.

Commonly property is inherited via a person’s Will or through a Trust that takes effect when the person passes away. You may also inherit property because a close relative or spouse died intestate (i.e., without a Will). In this event, the person’s property is distributed according to the New York State intestate laws.


Why is Dealing with Inherited Property Complicated?


Paying off debt

Frequently when you inherit property,  you also inherit the debt that comes with the property. Unless you’re part of the minority of people who inherit property that is completely paid off and has no significant debt associated with it, you will have to sort through the property’s debt.


Navigating the Probate Process

Regardless of the property was left to you via a Will or the person died intestate, more than likely, you will have to navigate the Probate Court to claim ownership to your property. The Probate process can be time-consuming and costly and will more than likely require the assistance of an experienced probate attorney in your area.


Dealing with Multiple Beneficiaries

Arguably, the biggest headache associated with inherited properties is when there are multiple beneficiaries. This just means the property was left to two or more people at either equal or even percentages. This can become a headache if the other beneficiaries are people you know, and you don’t get along with them. It also may also become complicated if each beneficiary has a different vision for what they want to do property moving forward.


What Are Your Options for Dealing with Inherited Property?


Sell the Property

One of the first things most people do when they inherit property determines the value and equity of the property. Selling inherited property is an attractive option because once the property is sold, the beneficiary can receive the equity and move on with your life. In other words, you don’t have to constantly deal with another property. This may be overwhelming if you already have other properties in your portfolio or you have a family. Or you just may not be interested in owning property in New York City.


Turn the Property into Investment Property

Depending on the location of the property, you may be interested in keeping it as an investment property. Specifically, you may be interested in becoming a landlord and renting it out at a profit. Whether or not you choose to turn your inherited property into an investment property will largely depend on the condition and the carrying cost for the property. If you are considering turning the property into an investment property, you must crunch the numbers and decide whether renting it monthly would generate a decent cash flow.


Keep the Property for Your Own Personal Use

Depending on whether you already own real estate or you are looking for your family, you may decide that keeping the property for your own personal use is your best option. Keep in mind that you will be responsible for the mortgage and carry the costs of the property.


The Best Way to Sell an Inherited Property


Assemble an Experienced Team

Start by soliciting an experienced real estate agent in your area that understands the ins and outs of selling a probate property and the most effective strategies to marketing probate property. An experienced and trustworthy real estate agent will be able to set the proper listing price and also educate you about the process of selling a probate property so that you can get the most for your inheritance in the shortest amount of time.

The next thing you need to do is to hire an attorney who can ensure that the probate paperwork has been filled out correctly.


Sell the Property For Cash

If you’re in a financial bind or just want to dispose of the inherited property as soon as possible, selling the property for cash may be a good option. Keep in mind that when you sell the property for cash, you will not receive the full retail value for the property. However, if you’re just looking to get rid of the property without making any type of repairs selling your property to a cash investor is the easiest and most streamlined way to dispose of inherited property. In some cases, assuming that the probate process is over, a property could sell in as little as 30 days to a cash investor.


Final Thoughts

Overall, inheriting property can be a big headache, no matter what your financial situation may be. The good news is if you are trying to sell your property in New York City, we can help with this process. We are able to educate you on the process can help you evaluate which option works best for your short-term and long-term financial goals. Without a doubt, having an experienced real estate agent on your side throughout the entire process can make the process of inheriting property a little bit easier as you deal with the grief of losing a loved one.


Schedule a call with me here if you have any interest in obtaining a complimentary valuation for your home or buyer consultation.

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Authored by: Stanley Montfort


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About the Author
Since the start of the pandemic, Stanley Montfort has played a crucial role in facilitating over one billion dollars worth of brownstone sales in New York City. He is a recognized expert in the city's brownstone and townhouse market, with extensive experience in both sell-side and buy-side brownstone transactions, thanks to his military and law background.

Stanley honed his real estate skills at Leslie J. Garfield, where he established the Harlem Townhouse Market, and has assisted in numerous co-ownership transactions, including more complicated deals involving SROs, seller financing, negotiating with tenants, and leaving all parties satisfied.

With a vibrant and diversified career spanning the legal, banking, and technology industries, Stanley brings a wealth of experience to help his clients achieve their real estate objectives. He applies innovative marketing strategies, strategic thinking, and utmost professionalism and integrity to every deal. As a savvy negotiator with strong analytical skills, Stanley has successfully navigated even the most challenging real estate deals to deliver the desired results.

Moreover, Stanley provides a personalized and engaging real estate experience marked by complete transparency, data-driven financial decisions, and honest conversations. He strives to earn his clients' trust and is committed to ensuring that their needs are fully understood and executed without compromise.

Originally from New Jersey, Stanley is a graduate of Fordham University, where he earned his JD and Masters in International, Political, Economy, and Development. Whether you are looking to earn top dollar for your property or find your dream home, Stanley is the no-brainer choice to help you achieve your real estate goals.