Our relatives want to leave us the most they can when they pass away, but sometimes, what they have is not that much. Let’s say an elder relative decides to leave you their home, for example, because he or she loves you and it’s the most valuable possession he or she has. However, the home is in dire need of repairs, it isn’t ready to sell and it’s the last thing you want to worry about dealing with right now. What should you do?
This might sound like a problem — especially if you loved the relative who left you the home and you want to honor his or her memory. However, it probably is not as bad of a problem as it appears. Indeed, the home — no matter how much it needs repairs — will have some intrinsic value. If you have received a home in disrepair, you will therefore want to look into what it is actually worth. At a bare minimum, the land it sits on will probably hold some value and a real estate agent may be able to sell it for you with little involvement on your part.
Now, let’s say that the land and home truly are worthless. If you discover this, then you don’t actually have to accept your inheritance. When the will goes through the probate process, all you have to do is decline to take what has been gifted to you. The government will absorb the property and any value it holds. The law does not require anyone to accept an inheritance, no matter how the person is related to the decedent.
Source: Daily Local News, “Bruce Williams: Family home is unwelcome inheritance,” Bruce Williams, Dec. 30, 2015