Green road sign that has the word inheritance on it.

Inheriting a home can be a very complex business. Depending on how you came to be in possession of the home (whether it’s paid for, and whether or not you have any co-owners), there could be many potential next steps from which to choose.

If you’ve recently inherited a house in Florida, you may be questioning your next move. This guide is here to detail your options, including your ability to sell the house fast for cash. First off, though, we need to answer a few questions.

1. How Did You Inherit—Deed, Will, or Trust?

It might not seem like it matters, but there is actually a big difference in how an inherited house in Florida should be handled based upon how exactly it became yours.

If you were given the house by deed, this means you were appointed the “remainderman” for the deceased’s estate, and when they passed, the house moved into your hands. There is no need to go through probate proceedings, and if you do choose to sell, you should have no issue, as your name will be on the title.

If your loved one died with them listed as the sole property owner but left you the house in their will, you’ll need to go through probate proceedings in order to move the title into your name officially. This means if you want to sell the home, you’ll need to complete that process first, which can sometimes take a few months.

If the deceased drew up a trust agreement declaring that you (or you and others) are entitled to the house upon their death, it will pass directly to you (and any other co-owners). If, however, the deceased leaves behind a spouse or minor children, you will have to go through the probate process in order to move the title to your name.

2. Do You Know The Tax Implications? 

Selling any asset for more than you paid for it can trigger capital gains taxes. But what if you didn’t pay for it, but rather inherited it? Unfortunately, you can still be on the hook for taxes if you inherited a house and want to sell it. Do you know your options? 

Tax rates change slightly every year based on inflation and other political factors. For the 2019 tax year, the tax percentages on house inheritance range from zero percent to 20 percent, depending on the amount of profit you made from the sale. 

3. How Do You Handle Probate?

If you need to file probate on the estate and the deceased has been gone more than two years, chances are things will move pretty quickly. With a good attorney, you could be set in as little as a week. If the person died very recently and you’re trying to sell the house, however, you may be in for a bit of a wait.

The probate process involves posting a notice to creditors in the local newspaper and giving any creditors who are owed by the estate four months to come forward. Selling a house in probate in Florida can take a little longer than normal, but once the judge declares you the new owner, you’ll be set to do whatever you wish with the property.

3. Is There a Mortgage?

If you inherit a home with an outstanding mortgage, you must assume the payments if you hope to avoid foreclosure. Each company will have its own process for how to deal with the homeowner’s death and move the account to your name, but you should alert them as soon as possible.

What if you can’t afford the mortgage? Under Florida law, a mortgage company cannot go after your personal bank account or assets if you choose to walk away from an inherited home and allow it to be foreclosed on. But should you choose to do so, retain a probate attorney to protect your interests.

4. Are There Other Owners?

The trickiest of all inheritance situations is when you inherit the property jointly with other family members. Under Florida law, all of you will be equally responsible for all financial obligations pertaining to the property, including debts and liabilities.

Typically one person takes point on being property manager, but beware that this can cause tension and resentment. If one of the owners is living in the house, that can also complicate things, as they may not want to pay their fair share, or they may refuse to sell despite everyone else wanting to. Immediately upon inheritance, all the heirs should discuss the situation and make a plan that’s agreeable to everyone (which is, sadly, often easier said than done).

If you have inherited a home, your options are typically to a) live in the home (or let one of the co-owners live in it); b) rent it; or c) sell it. Selling a house in probate in Florida can be a bit trickier, but if you quickly tackle the probate process, you’ll be good to go.

If you’re not interested in renting the home and being a landlord, and you want to avoid the infighting that often stems from sharing ownership of a home with siblings, selling may be your best option. If you’re ready to sell your inherited house in Florida quickly, call The Buy Guys today. We work exclusively with individuals, and we can have you ready to close and walk away with cash in your pocket in just 30 days!