Florida is not the only state where retirees move to enjoy their Golden Years. Texas also has its fair share of older adults who called the state home.
Some of them are snowbirds who maintained a primary residence in another state but spend the coldest months in Texas. Others make Texas their permanent home after retirement.
Regardless of which situation applied to your parent, their residence in Texas can be a concern for you after they die. There are certain considerations you should be aware of if you inherit real property in Texas but live out of state.
Real estate often has to go through probate
Unless your parent transferred ownership to you at the time of their death with the deed you already had in your possession or held their house in a trust, it is likely that the real estate your parent left will have to pass through the Texas probate courts. That makes it vulnerable to claims from Medicaid recovery programs and creditors that your parent still owed money to at the time of their death.
Letting the property sit vacant is bad for its value
Having someone live in a house is crucial to protecting the value in the home. Obviously, an unoccupied residence is at higher risk of squatting and property crimes than houses in which people live. People might break into the house, hold parties or even pull the wiring out of the walls. Even if criminals don’t target the property, sitting vacant for multiple months will have an impact on how much you can get for the property if you sell it.
You’ll need in-state help to handle probate court and other details
If you have a family or work a job, you can’t just visit Texas indefinitely until you resolve all the outstanding probate issues. Whether you want to hold on to the property as a vacation home or sell it once the probate courts approve that step, you will likely need local help.
From talking to potential property managers for a house you want to treat as an investment to vetting real estate agents and meeting appraisers at the property, local support is invaluable. While you may be able to attend probate proceedings via telecommunications, working with someone who understands the local property market and who can physically visit the Texas probate courts will make the process easier for you.
Learning about real estate and probate in Texas can help you react appropriately to your recent inheritance.