What issues would I have moving into my deceased father’s home and just continuing to pay his mortgage?

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What issues would I have moving into my deceased father’s home and just continuing to pay his mortgage?

Father died with no Will. I’m his only child I have a home I want to sell and move into his home why would I need to wait to move into it. I’m concerned if I do not pay his bills they will fall behind and create another issue if I wait until after probate.

Asked on July 30, 2016 under Estate Planning, Alabama

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Typically, an heir must wait until the probate process is complete before they gain access to an inherited asset. However, since you are the sole heir to your father's estate, you can probably move into his house without waiting if there is no one else to object. That having been said, before or after probate, the mortgage on the house must continued to be paid. At such point as the house is transferred into your name, you will become the legal owner. As a general rule, a transfer of ownership "accelerates" a mortgage which means that it must immediately be paid off in full. However, in the case of inherited property, even after transfer to an heir/beneficiary, the mortgage can remain in place so long as the monthy mortgage payments continue. In other words, a lender is required to continue to accept payment until the original maturity date.This benefits the person who is inheriting since they do not have to go through a lender's application process and qualify for a new mortgage in their own name.


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