When you hear the phrase “real estate lawyer” you probably don’t think of estate planning, but real estate attorneys can play a vital role in helping people manage their inheritances. Many people inherit real estate from their grandparents or parents, and whether it’s a vacation home in a sunny locale or the family home where you grew up, real estate inheritances often come with hidden costs that can add up very quickly. So, how can a real estate lawyer help?
Estate taxes: Certain federal and state inheritance taxes may apply to any properties you inherit, whether residential or commercial. A real estate lawyer who is familiar with NJ tax codes can help you determine if you owe any taxes and exactly how much.
Appraisals: When you inherit real estate you’re generally required to have it appraised. A real estate lawyer can ensure the valuation reflects the property’s current state and takes into account any upgrades that have been made.
Maintenance costs: If you inherit a house or an apartment, and you decide to keep it and rent it out to tenants, remember that you’ll always need to keep some money on hand for maintenance costs. As a landlord, you’ll need good insurance policies and a real estate lawyer can help you understand how best to protect yourself and your property.
Property taxes: When you inherit real estate, you also inherit the property taxes. The amount you’ll need to pay depends on where the property is located. For example, NJ homes near the ocean will have different property tax rates than inland homes. However, it’s recommended that all property owners (regardless of location) set aside a chunk of money each month to put towards property taxes.
Get help with NJ real estate inheritance
When you inherit real estate, your first call should be to a real estate lawyer who can help you understand the costs involved. You don’t want to fall behind on property taxes or be hit with an unexpected bill, so speak with an attorney as soon as possible who can help you navigate this new process.