What you need to know about housing after a loved one has passed away.

One of the hardest things any of us can go through is the death of a loved one. When it happens, we spend most of our time and energy grieving—the last thing we want to do is deal with legal headaches. That’s why I’m speaking with attorney Kellen Bryant about how to handle a loved one’s house after they’ve passed away.

The truth is that it depends on context, specifically, the titling of the deed. If both spouses pass away in a joint property, a will determines what happens after. However, without a will, the state of Florida gives you a will that states where the property is going to go. Usually, it goes to the surviving children, but if that isn’t an option, it goes further down the family tree. To save your loved ones a huge headache, Kellen recommends you set up a will so that you don’t leave things up to the state. 

“It’s better to set up a will or trust sooner rather than later.”

This can get complicated enough with a personal property, but investment properties add a whole new layer to the process. Even if a spouse dies and leaves their properties to their partner, the surviving member might not have any idea how to run a investment property. In this situation, having a trust is crucial—it will make selling the properties much easier, so your loved ones won’t have to worry about a huge asset they don’t know how to handle. 

If you have a loved one who is sick and may be incapacitated soon, we recommend you talk to them about this issue soon. Many loved ones will try to put the issue off; after all, they have more important things to worry about. However, by the time they seriously start thinking about their will and similar problems, they may be too sick or unwell to sign a contract. For peace of mind, set up a will or trust long before health problems get serious. 

There’s a lot to discuss with this topic, so if you have a question we didn’t answer in the video, reach out, and I’ll put you in touch with Kellen. As always, call or email me with any real estate questions. I look forward to hearing from you!