When a property owner dies, he leaves it behind, usually already having decided to whom the property will go now and expressing this in an official will verified by an attorney. Sometimes this is not the case and there is a dilemma over who should bereceiving the assets.
After the holder’s death, the property can be viewed in two ways in terms of its inheritance.
1. Probate assets: These are assets that will be inherited only if the court-supervised probate indicates it, like the properties owned by a single owner.
2. Non-probate assets: These assets can be taken over by the beneficiaries without the need of a court-supervised probate. This type of assets has a beneficiary named to inherit them after the owner dies, for example, a community property.
The presence of a will made by the proprietor decides in the largest aspect the fate of his property. if there is a will, this clearly indicates the rightful inheritors. But when there isn’t a will the receivers are determined by the laws of the state where the owner lived at the time of death and where he owned real state.
The basic succession rules declare the following points:
• In general, only spouses, registered domestic partners and blood relatives can inherit the assets. Others like unmarried partners, friends and charity do not.
• If the deceased person was married, usually the surviving spouse gets the largest share, and gets all of it if there are no children.
• In the absence of spouse and children, distant relatives receive the property.
• In the rare event that no relatives of the deceased person can be found, it’s the state that takes the assets.
A property is a possession of high value to any person during his lifetime, and due to its high value it can be a reason of confusion and disputes when it comes to deciding who gets to inherit it. This is why it’s very important to determine and make it clear who inherits what well in advance in order to avoid conflicts.
If you happen to be the inheritor of the property left by a deceased person, it’s important to take a number of steps for its complete transfer, taking care to cover all the legal details.
- Firstly, ensure that you have a substantial proof to claim your inheritance and that the property is properly transferred to your name.
- Apply for the required documents, including a property transfer at the sub-registrar’s office, the will with probate or succession certificate and an affidavit with a no-objection certificate from the other legal successors. Also apply for the mutation of the property title, which will be recorded at the local competent municipal authority office; and keep a clear evidence of the property ownership in your hand. Remember that these requirements differ between states and always seek for the guidance of a legal advisor.
- Find out if there is an outstanding loan. In the affirmative case, this will get transferred and will have to be paid by the inheritor. However, if there was a home loan insurance taken, the insurer is responsible for its payment. In this case, you should collect the loan clearance certificate from the lender and all the original documents of the property that were given to him to avail the loan.
It’s very important to consider all the aspects that inheriting a property conveys, all the way from its maintenance to its legal record. Always keep in mind that a property is not just an asset to be gained, but also a responsibility to look after.