Title insurance protects property owners, whether they purchase the property or inherit it. In the case of inherited properties, some folks may let their guard down believing that there is no risk involved.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When it comes to inherited properties, complex issues can bubble to the surface. In this blog, we review the more common situations that can arise with inherited properties.

Title Issues can Exist

A home that was owned by a loved one for 30 or 50 years can still have title issues – old claims against the property, issues with the deed, such as a misprint on the address, forgery, or perhaps a survey issue can all rear their heads.

Inheritances Can be Tricky

Not all people get along- even families. When someone passes and wills begin to surface, tension and drama can hit a fever pitch. Once a home passes down, it’s not uncommon for aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins to stake a claim to the value of a property. Other non-traditional relationships such as adopted children, second and third marriages and stepfamily can add to the complexity and the number of claims that can exist.

If you’ve inherited a property, title insurance protects you from claims against it, regardless of the outcome.

Those Who Trespass May Claim Ownership

An estate that takes years to settle can make way for yet even more complexity. By the time one takes official possession of a home, a family member, renter or even a squatter may have been occupying that property and might want to lay claim to it.

Known as adverse possession, these situations can be tricky. Having an official title insurance policy in place can help navigate the process of repossessing and/or establishing legal ownership of the property.

Identity Theft Abounds

Thousands of people become the victim of identity theft daily. Unfortunately, older folks are more at risk than most as they are specifically targeted by scammers and fraudsters. Posing as the owner of a property, these con artists can open up lines of credit or other types of loans using the property as collateral. This can go unnoticed for years, until the family member passes and issues begin to pop up during the estate settlement. A thorough title search can help uncover these types of situations that, unfortunately, are becoming more commonplace.

Principle Abstract and Settlement Services has years of experience working exclusively for the benefit of their clients. Whether you are purchasing a property or inheriting one, a thorough title insurance search performed by Principle Abstract offers peace of mind during an already difficult time. Have a property you are in the process of inheriting? Give our office a call today.