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Is it worth fighting over your deceased parent’s home?

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2020 | Estate Planning |

When you discover that your parents left their home to your sister, you might get upset. If this was the principal asset that your parents owned, it might seem unfair that you do not get a share. However, before you think of challenging the estate plan, it helps to realize that inherited property is sometimes a worse deal than it seems.

Inheriting a property does not necessarily include its contents

Just because your sister gets the building does not entitle her to the contents. Your parents may have made provisions for these in their will. You might find that the old painting they left you is worth more than the house.

Inherited property can be costly to maintain

If your parent’s home is old, it may require costly repairs. There may be problems with the land which render the property worth much less than you think.

Taxes could make inheriting property a bad deal for you

Estate planning taxes can be complicated. Your father may have had a financial reason to leave the property to your sister rather than you. When considering how to distribute an estate, people need to look at the whole picture encompassing all their assets. Failing to do so could leave their beneficiaries with unnecessary tax bills.

Consider your parents’ wishes

People sometimes have personal reasons to make particular estate planning decisions. If you are a sworn bachelor, they may have felt you did not need a five-bedroom property. If you earn much more than your sister, they may have decided she needed it more than you.

Seek legal advice if you wish to contest a will. An attorney can assess if you have lawful grounds to file a contest. While they cannot decide for you, they can help you understand the bigger picture.