What to Do After Inheriting Land in Kentucky?

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What to Do After Inheriting Land in Kentucky?
By

Bart Waldon

Kentucky is known for its rolling green hills, scenic farmland, and historic horse country. If you have recently inherited vacant land or property in Kentucky, you likely have many questions about what comes next. Our Kentucky-based land buying company, Land Boss, has over 5 years of experience helping landowners navigate the complex process of inheriting, managing or selling land. This guide covers key steps to take after inheriting land in Kentucky.

We’ll provide an overview of important considerations like verifying deed ownership, paying overdue taxes, handling liens, deciding whether to keep or sell the land, pricing and marketing strategies if you sell, and avoiding common pitfalls. With the right information, inheriting land can be a smooth process resulting in profits if you choose to sell the land.

Verifying Ownership with the Deed

After the loss of a loved one, the first step is verifying that you are legally listed as the owner for the property on the deed document. The deed contains key details like the property’s full legal description with boundary lines and parcel identification number. Make copies for your records and confirm that the names listed match those bequeathed in the will or estate.

County clerk offices on the local level record and hold deeds. These are public record documents you can access to verify you are the legal heir. If there are any discrepancies in the names or details, consult an estate planning attorney to determine next steps to correctly transfer ownership. Leave the inherited property as-is until any required legal proceedings are complete to update records listing you as the rightful current land owner.

Paying Overdue Taxes on Inherited Property

Once deed ownership is confirmed in your name, property taxes may be due. After someone passes away, their property taxes can fall behind. Review tax statements and pay any bills overdue right away after inheriting land. The county tax assessor’s office can provide details on payments owed and property tax rates in the area.

Stay on top of property tax payments going forward by enrolling in a tax bill direct payment program through your county if possible. Local tax assessor’s offices have resources to help new landowners understand how property taxes are calculated. Get in touch with any questions about tax bills or payment confusion.

If property taxes fall too far behind, Kentucky can place a tax lien against the property, so inheritance beneficiaries must pay taxes quickly. Any existing liens against the land can threaten inherited property ownership rights later on.

Identifying and Removing Liens on Inherited Land

A lien represents an outstanding debt tied directly to the property from the previous owner such as unpaid mortgage balances or contractor bills. County records have lien details. Common types include:

  • Mortgage Liens: Unpaid remaining mortgage loan balance
  • Mechanic's Liens: Unpaid construction contractor fees
  • HOA Liens: Unpaid homeowner’s association dues
  • Tax Liens: Unpaid property taxes

If possible, liens are found filed with the county for inherited property, contact each lienholder identified right away to verify if a legitimate unpaid balance exists. Provide a copy of the death certificate as evidence you are now the owner by inheritance and arrange payoffs as applicable.

Each lien type has specific legal guidelines about recourse lenders can take to collect against property. Pay liens off promptly, so the debt does not grow through interest or late fees. Any remaining mortgage balance typically needs full immediate payoff after inheriting property. An estate attorney can advise on isolating inherited land assets from debts if needed.

Deciding What to Do With Inherited Property

Once you sort out taxes and verify deed ownership without concerning liens reducing the property value, it’s time to choose your course of action. Common options include:

Keep the land as an inheritance asset - For sentimental reasons or possible future sale, you may opt to retain ownership without making immediate changes.

Move onto the property – If the inherited land has a livable house already built, relocating here is a possibility.

Make improvements to later sell at higher value – Adding utility lines, making road/driveway access, zoning/permitting approval for intended use, etc. can enhance property appeal.

List inherited property for sale immediately – Without making costly improvements first, you can opt to liquidate through quick cash sale, especially if you inherit vacant land.

If keeping the land long-term, map out recurring costs expected for maintenance fees, taxes, HOA dues (if applicable), insurance premiums, and other carrying costs. Ensure sufficient additional funds available to cover emergency property expenses as they arise over time. Also develop a plan for generating income from the property if possible, such as leasing or enclosing billboard/cell tower space.

Selling land inherited in Kentucky can simplify matters considerably compared to retaining ownership indefinitely once it is prepared properly to transact.

How to Price Land for Sale

Determining accurate value ranges for vacant, residential, or commercial inherited properties tied directly to their location gets complicated. The land buying and selling professionals at Land Boss closely track local market trends. We recommend inherited landowners reference multiple comparative properties recently sold nearby to identify pricing in line with the current market.

In rural locations, acreage, road access, utility/infrastructure access, and whether the property is cleared or forested are key land value factors. Development limitations like flood zones and mineral/oil rights impact land prices as well. For land in residential areas, home style, bedrooms/baths, lot size, and neighborhood prestige hold more weight. Zoning type plays a substantial role for commercial properties. While an appraiser can provide valuation, their fees reduce net sale profits. Start with online tools referencing comparable sales instead.

Marketing Strategies to Sell Faster

After inheriting property, most owners desire expedited sale activation for simplified transitions. However effective marketing outreach remains vital to attract potential buyers in Kentucky’s land market. With an average selling period of six months to a year in many cases, inherited land owners need robust strategies driving visibility and deal momentum.

Online ads through listing services broaden exposure relatively affordably to reach specialized land buying audiences. Include quality photos highlighting appealing attributes.

Property signage visible from the nearest main road also signals real-time availability to those passing by the land parcel regularly.

Land investor outreach initiates incoming offers rather than waiting passively for random potential purchasers to find your ad. Many active land buyers wish to purchase properties off-market before they are publicly listed.

While each method helps, benefiting from the combined effect of multiple tactics shortens overall time to close deals. Consider consulting Kentucky land pros like our team at Land Boss to discuss setup specifics for your inherited property situation to enact a holistic selling strategy.

Inherited Property: Cash Offers and Specialized Buyers

Once inherited property is listed actively on the local market, finding a reliable buyer able to complete a quick, smooth closing becomes the next priority for many sellers wanting simplified transitions related to new unexpected land ownership.

Cash offers come with fewer contingencies to stall sales, offering inherited land owners’ faster exits and secure net sale proceeds without loan-related hurdles found in traditional financed offers. Cash investors frequently present “as-is” offers with leniency regarding property condition or title delays related to probate/inheritance proceedings as they have funds readily available and see profit potential in the land itself regardless of fixable issues.

Companies specializing in land buying like Land Boss have dedicated funding available to purchase property as cash sales for instant payments to inheritance beneficiaries. We handle all closing details start to finish, providing a seamless, stress-free selling process. Over 100 satisfied clients have worked with our expert team navigating sales specifically after inheriting unwanted property.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls for Inherited Landowners

While inherited land can feel like a bonus asset addition if you sell at fair market prices, the process has inherent risks. Here are tips to avoid missteps:

  • Consult real estate attorneys when wills/deeds create ownership confusion
  • Watch for fraudulent buyers misrepresenting identities or funds
  • Screen investor offers thoroughly checking company legitimacy
  • Beware online scams regarding overpayments or fake listings
  • Research all tax/lien implications before accepting purchase bids
  • Require full earnest money deposits from buyers at contract signing
  • Inspect properties before listing unknown condition land
  • Complete certified inspections to disclose issues upfront

Inheriting property may occur unexpectedly, but strategic preparation puts landowners in control. Protect rights by verifying all legal details then purposefully market using optimized methods until the right buyer secures a closed, profitable sale. With so many potential buyers eager to purchase land across Kentucky, prioritizing helpful education prevents regrettable decisions. 

Final Thoughts

Inheriting land in Kentucky can certainly feel overwhelming as important property decisions arise suddenly. However, with reliable guidance on accurately transferring deed ownership, removing property liens, paying updated taxes, evaluating keep vs. sell options, pricing and marketing land effectively, the process smooths greatly. Seeking input from local professionals like our team at Land Boss before accepting offers speeds safe exits. We make completing inherited land sales simple and profitable for over 100 properties sold to date. This resource covers key starting points, so Kentucky inheritance beneficiaries can activate strategic plans maximizing their new vacant land assets or unwanted residences. Careful navigation of legal complexities allows benefiting fully from inherited property wealth-building potential as the ultimate tribute to loved ones no longer with us. Consult Land Boss to discuss possibilities for your distinctive scenario.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I have to immediately take ownership of inherited property in Kentucky?

No, you can initially disclaim inherited property through a legal disclaimer document if preferred, passing ownership to the next beneficiaries in line. This avoids tax or liens tied to the land. However, there are specific time limits, rules around disclaiming only a portion of assets, and other factors to consider with disclaimer filings. Consult with an estate planning lawyer before submitting disclaimers.

How long does probating a will or settling an estate with inherited property take in KY?

In Kentucky, it normally takes around 6-12 months for inherited properties going through probate proceedings to become available for sale or ownership transfer after a death. The process cannot complete until all estate debts/liens are settled. If property ownership moves directly to heirs through trusts or joint tenancy arrangements instead of probate, access can be within weeks.

Do all heirs have to agree to sell inherited family property in Kentucky?

If a property gets divided between multiple inheritance beneficiaries in Kentucky, approval would be needed from all (or a specified majority) to list the land for sale. If heirs cannot agree, partitioning the property into separate legal sections so each heir receives a divided portion is an alternate option without needing unanimous consent.

How much do real estate attorneys typically charge to assist with questions on inherited Kentucky land?

Attorneys specializing in Kentucky estate administration and real estate law often charge $150-$300 per hour on average when providing counsel to clients inheriting property locally. Securing professional legal advice usually costs anywhere from a few hundred dollars into the low thousands of dollars range for more complex inherited land matters requiring extensive filings.

What types of land buyers commonly make cash offers to those who inherited property?

Land acquisition companies, individual property investors, commercial developers, farmers seeking to expand, conservation groups looking to preserve natural spaces, tiny home community builders, solar/renewable energy companies among other specialty buyers generally present cash purchase offers directly to Kentucky land inheritance beneficiaries because they have available funds and see strong potential in vacant land for their business plans.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.

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