What Happens When You Inherit a Property from a Family Member?

mourners gathered at a graveside

Inheriting a house from a family member can bring about a mix of emotions.

On one hand, you have memories associated with the property, and on the other, a host of responsibilities that suddenly fall into your lap. 

When you find yourself in the situation of inheriting a house from your parents in the UK, it’s essential to understand the processes involved and the decisions you might need to make.

Read our guide to understand what happens when you inherit a property, and what to consider.

1. Probate and Legal Processes

When a property owner passes away, their estate, including the house, often goes through the probate process

This process ensures that the deceased’s debts and taxes are settled and their assets, including properties, are distributed according to their will. Before making any decisions regarding the inherited property, it’s wise to check if probate is required. Consult with a solicitor to guide you through this often complex process.

2. Consider the Taxes

You might think that inheriting a property is a financial windfall. 

However, there could be tax implications. While the UK doesn’t have an inheritance tax specific to properties, there’s an Inheritance Tax (IHT) that might be applicable if the total value of the deceased’s estate exceeds a certain threshold. 

Moreover, if you decide to sell the inherited property, there could be Capital Gains Tax implications. Ensure you consult a financial adviser to understand the tax implications fully.

3. Mortgage Implications

If the property still has a mortgage on it, the responsibility for this typically passes to the inheritor. 

However, if there is a life insurance policy in place, then this might cover the value of the mortgage or if the mortgage lender allows a transfer of the debt to the beneficiary.

4. Decide What to Do with the Property

After dealing with the legal and financial aspects of inheriting a house from your parents in the UK, you need to decide what to do with it. You have several options:

Live in it: If the house is in a desirable location or has sentimental value, you might consider moving in.

Rent it out: This can be a source of steady income, but be prepared for the responsibilities of being a landlord.

Sell it: If you don’t wish to keep the property, selling it might be the best option. This process can be simplified with cash house buyers who will make an outright offer for a quick sale.

5. Emotional Considerations

Whether it’s a house you grew up in or simply one in which you’ve spent a lot of time with a loved one, inheriting a property can be emotionally taxing. 

Before making any decisions, give yourself time to grieve and process your emotions. Speak to family members and consider seeking the advice of a counsellor or therapist if you’re struggling with the loss, as the inheritance can further complicate these feelings. 

Inheriting a Property: Next Steps

Inheriting a property from a family member is more than just gaining a new asset. 

It comes with responsibilities, decisions, and often, a rollercoaster of emotions. By understanding the process, considering the financial implications, and giving yourself time to process, you can make the best decisions for your future and honour the memory of your loved one.


Picture of Bobby Turner

Bobby Turner

Market research, writer & property specilaist for Zoom Property Buyer. Over 10 years in property sector. Previously at WhatHouse?