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What To Do If A Deceased Family Member Has Left You A House

What to Do if a Deceased Family Member Has Left You a House

When a family member or loved one passes away, there can be all kinds of stress in the air. These feelings may become even more elevated when the will of your loved one is read. Having to deal with toxic family members on top of struggling with grief can be difficult. Fortunately, there is a silver lining: you might find that your loved one wanted to leave something behind for you to remember them by.

There are some instances where bereaved family members of a deceased relative are left valuable and substantial items in the will. Anything from heirloom jewelry to real estate properties may find their way to you after a family member’s will is read. This blog post will shed some light as to what you can expect if your deceased loved one has left you a house.

What To Do If a Deceased Family Member Has Left You A House

If you have landed on this article because someone close to has passed and has left you some real estate property, here are some of the possible scenarios to expect. Read on to find out how to transfer the property to your name.

If the House Was Not Their Principal Residence

Once the will goes into effect, all their assets will be put under a state called “deemed disposition”. This implies that all their assets were “sold”. The ownership of all of these assets will be transferred from the deceased to their estate. By virtue of the law, a deceased person’s estate is viewed as a person who is separate from the deceased and from the inheritors mentioned in the will. This “person” is the new owner of the assets that the person has left behind.

All of the assets (with the exception of the deceased’s principal place of residence) will be subject to capital gains tax. This tax will cover the period of when the assets were transferred to the estate until they will be in the deemed disposition state.

If the House Was Their Principal Residence

If you were left a property that was the principal residence of the deceased, capital gains tax will not apply. However, you have to remember that when the will was put into effect, the property was passed on to the estate. You might have guessed where we are going with this. Capital gains tax will still apply because of the technical transfer of ownership!

This is why you need to be quick about what you do after the will is read. There have been many instances where the inheritor had to sell the property or have it mortgaged just because they were not able to transfer the property to their names in a timely manner.

Transfering the Property From the Estate to Your Name

This is why transfering the property from your deceased loved one’s estate to your name should start from the moment the will is read. It is essential that you communicate well with the executor of your loved one’s will. They will have to execute a “Transfer of Land” to finalize the transfer to your name. This in itself may take some time, and some capital gains tax will need to be paid. However, you will be able to avoid paying an unreasonable amount (or even losing the property entirely) if you act quickly.


If you have any questions about any real estate property that you have inherited, it is a good idea to talk to the executor of the will or the lawyer that was assigned to oversee the reading of the will. These are the people who will best be able to answer any questions you may have about the will and the property that your loved one left you.

Should you have any concerns about your loved one’s will or if you need to have a will of your own made, contact Ontario Wills. We can provide you with a reliable will and estate lawyer in the Kanata area. Contact us today!

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