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I Inherited Land, Now What?

Posted on: April 14th, 2020 by , No Comments

Receiving Inherited land is not something that happens on a regular basis. When it does it can create a lot of questions and the need for some decision making by those that are the beneficiaries. There may have been some warning that you would be receiving inherited land in the near future, and this has allowed you to give some thought as to what you are going to do with it.  You  may have to give some thought to selling inherited land,  but you also may have some other choices. It may be that you want to sell it and get the capital out of it, or perhaps you are thinking of holding onto it as a long-term investment. If it is vacant land you may decide that you want to build on it. Or, you even have the option of being able to lease it. No matter which one of these choices you make they all come with a certain amount of obligations and responsibilities and definitely a learning curve, if you are not used to dealing with inherited real estate. You will have to have some basic understanding of the land inheritance laws, and also what the taxes on the sale of inherited property may amount to.

inheriting vacant land

Part of what is going to affect your decisions will also be whether there is a house on the land, or whether it is just land itself that you have inherited.

Land Inheritance Laws

The first thing you want to do as a beneficiary of the inherited land is to make sure that you familiarize yourself with land inheritance laws. Each state has its own laws so you must be sure that you are researching the ones that are applicable to you. How you inherited the property is also going to be important. For example, if you are the spouse of the benefactor then you may be able to inherit the property even if it wasn’t left to you in a will. This all depends on whether your particular state implements the community property or common law regulations for inheritance that deals with spouses.

Community Property States

property laws in states for vacant land

For a state that is following the community property laws, this  refers to property that was obtained by either one of the spouses during the marriage. The law in this regard views the property ownership as being equal between both spouses. Therefore, the spouse would be entitled to half ownership of the property that was inherited. There are more specifics that come under the community property rules that have to be thoroughly understood when you are dealing with inherited land.

Inheritance Law For Common Law States

Under this law, the spouse is not automatically awarded one-half of the interest in any of the property that was obtained during the marriage. The ownership of the property is mandated by the title name on the property. Every state that implements the common law rules has their own specific requirements attached to it.

There are also other inheritance rights that one must be aware of such as inheriting property after a divorce, or perhaps the rights of the children that have inherited the property or even the grandchildren.

Selling Inherited Land

if you have decided that you want to look at the selling inherited land options then you are going to have to know what the proper channels and legalities are for this. You are going to find that selling inherited land would be much the same as property that you were selling of your own that you had originally purchased. This will follow after the settlement of the estate and all the legalities have been taken care of such as putting the land under you name as the official owner. How complicated it will be will depend on whether you are selling strictly land or selling land that also has a house on it.

  • The first thing you need to do is make sure that your name is on the deed and that it has been filed properly with your local land office.


  • Then you need to decide the best way to find out what the tax liability is going to be on the inherited land or the property with a house. You are going to be responsible for the property taxes on this property until it is sold, so you need to make sure that you keep up with this.


  • Then you need to also be well aware of what the tax obligations are going to be that you are responsible for once you have made to the sale.


You have many different options for being able to sell this property in respect to whether you want to try and sell it privately, or whether you want to go through the professional real estate agents.

Taxes On Sale Of Inherited Property

taxes on the sale of inherited land

As mentioned, you will be responsible for the property tax but there will be other types of tax that you may be faced with as well. How the taxes  on inherited property is handled will be different in each state. It is important that you rely on the proper professionals to help you really understand what you are going to be paying in taxes, and these experts are your tax attorney and accountant. Sometimes the taxes that are attached to inheritances are called death taxes or estate taxes. In some states, there will not be any inherited land tax that is going to affect a person.

The other type of tax that has to be given real thought to is the capital gains tax that you may be faced with. This will come if you are selling the property and you are making a profit on it. The taxes owed will be determined by the difference in what the market value of the land was when the benefactor passed away and left it to you and what you actually sell it for.

There is really a lot that has to be considered when you inherit property, and you want to rely on all the right professionals and make sure that you understand all of the responsibilities that you are now faced with.

Need To Sell Your Inherited Land?

You’re in luck! We at Bailey Real Estate Investments, LLC specialize in buying and selling land, regardless of its condition. If it’s inherited land, vacant land, or land that you just want to get rid of, we are more than happy to answer any questions! Contact us today at 408-990-3131 for a quote today!

The information presented in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal, financial, or as any other type of advice.