Inheriting a property isn’t common for most people in Indiana – it probably only happens once in a lifetime if you are lucky. As a result, many individuals don’t know what steps to take after receiving news of their inheritance. If you’ve recently inherited a piece of property, there are several things you need to do to prevent any future legal complications.
Determine your inheritance rights and research Indiana’s laws on inheritance
You must look up whether the property falls under intestate or testate succession. Intestate succession occurs when the deceased doesn’t write a valid will before their death; in this case, Indiana state laws will dictate how the heirs will divide the estate. Testate succession, on the other hand, occurs when there’s a valid will. The probate court will distribute the deceased property according to their wishes.
Gather the relevant documents
You’ll then need to obtain copies of all applicable documents related to the property, such as deeds, wills or trusts the deceased created. It might also be helpful to get copies of bank statements, tax returns, or other records that clarify the deceased’s ownership history.
Resolve any outstanding debts or liens
You will also want to ensure there are no unpaid taxes or mortgages on the property you’ll become liable for. Fortunately, Indiana doesn’t impose inheritance taxes, but you may still owe taxes to the IRS for any income earned from the property.
Secure and maintain your inherited property
Finally, it is essential that you secure and maintain your inherited property after its transfer. Change locks if necessary, and arrange for regular upkeep and maintenance of the exterior. It’s also important to get an updated appraisal of the property so you know how much it is worth before making any decisions about what to do with it.
Inheriting a piece of property can be a confusing process, especially when still going through the grief of losing a loved one. But understanding the legal framework and taking steps to secure your rights can help you make good decisions at this difficult time.