Before you make any financial decisions about borrowing against an inherited Miami property, you should speak with a Miami probate and estate attorney to find out how and when you can take title to the property. The attorney will be able to discuss the process with you and advise you about mortgages against inherited property.

Typically title to inherited Miami property passes the following ways:

Through a decedent’s will inside the estate. Although the decedent’s will designates who receives the decedent’s property, any property that is held in the sole name of a decedent at the time of the decedent’s death must pass inside the estate through a probate proceeding filed with the Miami-Dade court. After all the debts, claims and any estate taxes have been paid, the title to a Miami property is then transferred to the beneficiary designated under the decedent’s will. Sometimes the property may need to be sold if there are not enough assets to pay the creditors and claims.

Intestate succession. If the decedent died intestate without a will, the decedent’s property held solely in the decedent’s name transfers to the decedent’s heirs under Florida intestate right of succession laws. The decedent no longer has control over how the decedent’s property is going to be distributed and to whom.

Through joint ownership or a trust outside of the estate. Property that is held jointly in the name of the decedent and a beneficiary or under a trust, passes to the beneficiary outside the estate and is exempt from probate. So if you and your dad owned a home together as joint tenants with right of survivorship, the title to the property passes to you by law automatically after your dad’s death. Property held in a trust name is transferred in accordance with the trust agreement.

Once you receive title to an inherited property, you have the right to sell, convey, lease or borrow against the property.

What to Consider?

There are some things to consider before you decide to borrow against an inherited Miami property. Determining how you are going to use the property is the first consideration. The value and condition of the property are also important considerations. The property may need major improvements to be habitable. The costs of borrowing must be calculated as well. You will need money to pay for an appraisal and closing costs. All lenders require a property appraisal before lending you money. Other things to consider are whether the property is going to be your primary residence or used as investment rental property. This information is taken into account by the lender in determining the type of loan, interest rate and terms you will receive. You will also need a plan on how you are going to repay the loan.

The lender also considers whether you are personally credit worthy. The lender looks at your credit score, credit history, your debt to income ratio and your assets in determining whether to give you a mortgage. Lending guidelines are much tighter these days. It’s a good idea to have a back up contingency plan in case you don’t qualify for a loan. If you want to keep the property, but you need money for improvements, you may need to borrow it from another family member or friend. Having information and understanding how you can benefit from owning inherited property is important and crucial to making the right decision as to whether you should borrow against your inherited property.

Since inheriting property and the rights and obligations that come with it can be complex, it is a good idea to consult with a Miami probate and estate attorney who can advise you on real and personal property inheritance matters such as mortgages against inherited properties.

If you wish to speak to a Miami estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.