What happens when you inherit property from your parents?

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Unsure what to do after being left property by a relative or loved one?

Depending on how close you were with the deceased, you may not even be aware of the size or contents of your inheritance before you’re presented with the keys to their property.

To help you understand what to expect when inheriting a house from your parents in the UK, the experienced inheritance solicitors at Freeman Jones Solicitors answer some of the most frequently-asked questions about this process below.

What do you do when you inherit a house UK?

Regardless of who left you their property (be it your parents or another relative), there are three things you can do when you inherit a house – sell it, rent it out, or live in it. However, you can only make this decision once probate has been completed and property has been officially transferred into your name.

Keen to sell and divide the proceeds between several beneficiaries? The inherited property can be sold in the same way as any other property, however, it’s important to bear in mind that you may be required to pay inheritance or capital gains tax on the proceeds.

Alternatively, you could rent out the inherited property to give yourself another means of income. This is ideal if you’re eager to retain ownership over the property, but still want to use the property to generate money as an investment.

Your final option is to simply move into the inherited property. If you inherit the property with a mortgage, most lenders will offer you a grace period to suspend repayments until probate is complete and the property is in your name.

However, you will still need to pass the lender’s affordability and credit checks if you want to live in the property and continue paying the mortgage. If you inherit a property without a mortgage, you can simply move in.

Can I live in inherited house before probate?

If you’re a beneficiary living in an inherited house in the UK, then you may be wondering whether you can remain in the property while waiting for probate to complete.

Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to this question as administrators and executors have absolute power to decide how the estate is handled.

In some cases, if the property is being inherited by just one beneficiary, then it may make sense for the property to be occupied as soon as possible by this beneficiary as they can handle bills and maintenance until probate is completed.

However, if the property is to be sold and the proceeds divided between several beneficiaries, then allowing one beneficiary to move in could create issues further down the line if they refuse to leave.

Ultimately, it’s often best to receive independent legal advice to ensure you make the best decisions as the administrator or executor of the deceased’s wishes and estate.

Can you empty the house before probate?

Legally, you can’t do anything with an inherited property before probate, so you should wait to clear the house or do anything with the contents until after this process has come to an end.

Do I have to pay inheritance tax on my parents’ house UK?

No matter whether you’ve inherited a property from your parents or another family member, you may be required to pay inheritance tax if you’re in England or Wales and their estate is over the threshold.

If the inherited estate of the deceased has a value of more than £325,000 (this includes the value of their property as well as any savings, shares, and financial assets they might have possessed), then you will often have to pay inheritance tax.

Inheriting a house from your parents in the UK?

For more help understanding what happens when you inherit property from your parents in the UK or for clear answers to any other inheritance-related questions you might have, please feel free to contact Freeman Jones Solicitors today.

Our team of experienced inheritance solicitors can help you to navigate a wide range of hidden complexities and issues when it comes to inheritance law and inheritance disputes.

Regardless of whether you require expert support with defending contested wills, settling disputes between beneficiaries, or understanding inheritance law in the UK, we can help.

To discuss your inheritance queries or concerns with one of our professional inheritance solicitors, please don’t hesitate to call 01244 506 444 and book your free, 20-minute, no-obligation consultation today.

Alternatively, you can also get in touch by sending your enquiry via email to info@fjsolicitors.co.uk or filling out and submitting our convenient online contact form.

For a more personal touch, we also welcome in-person visits to any one of our Freeman Jones Solicitors branches – you can find us in Chester, Liverpool, Warrington, and Wrexham.

However you decide to contact our friendly and knowledgeable team, we hope to hear from you soon.

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Author Colin Freeman View Profile
Colin qualified as a solicitor in 1998. He specialises predominantly in family law, litigation / dispute resolution, wills, probate and settlement agreements and has notable cases reported in the Court of Appeal and High Court.
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