Have You Inherited A Home In Rhode Island?

First, please accept our condolences on the loss of your loved one. This must be a very difficult time for you, in addition to the assumed responsibility of handling an inherited house.

Ideally you’ll have some time before being required to make decisions. However, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes you might have to move quickly, whether you want to or not. With that in mind, this article is here to help you and provide assistance. We’ll cover Five Steps to guide you along this stressful time. If you don’t have time to read through or just prefer talking to someone, please reach out to us. We’ll be happy to help guide you through what we can.

Understand The Probate Process

Maybe this is the first time you’ve heard the term Probate, so what is Probate?

Essentially, probate is the word for process where the affairs of a deceased person are handled under court supervision. Most likely you will have to go through probate unless your loved one had one of the following situations set up:

  • A trust with a named beneficiary
  • A right of survivorship (this would be the case if two people owned the property together and only one has passed away)
  • Life insurance policy paid to a beneficiary

We’ll assume that your situation does not fall into one of the categories above, so let’s dive into the Rhode Island specifics for inherited properties.

Depending on which city your loved one called home will decide which probate court you have to go to. Yes, even though Rhode Island is a small state it still has a separate court for each city. Here is the list of probate courts to help you.

Now you know which court you have to work with, but what does that court do?


The court is there to settle disputes if they arise, and to close the estate. You will still be responsible for paying bills (water, electric, sewage, etc), taxes, insurance, and preparing tax returns. This can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are not prepared for it.

Also, one specific detail for Rhode Island is that the estate must be opened for at least six months before it can be closed. This allows creditors to file claims with the estate. How kind of them…

Since the home you’ve inherited is part of the estate, it’s best to begin looking for a way to sell early since you can see how long the process can take.

We didn’t cover every detail of the probate process in Rhode Island, but this should give you a good understanding of what probate is. If you want to learn more, here is a great local resource: Probate Info.

Let’s cover a main term that might pop up during the process as well:

Executor: The individual identified to administer the estate of the deceased person. Main purpose is to carry out the instructions/wishes of the deceased and to handle the affairs. This very well could be you. If there is a will, then the executor would have been named. If no will was made, then you can petition the court for a selection to be made.

Now let’s move on to what costs you can expect with inheriting a property.

Costs Associated With Inherited Property

We briefly touched upon one aspect of cost that you’ll be paying when you inherit a property: Bills.

Though it may not seem like it, bills on a property can add up quick. Multiply that over the course of a few months to a year and that’s a pretty high cost. The main cost of bills will come from Property Taxes, Insurance, and Utilities. Even if you aren’t going to spend one day in the home, you will still have to pay these until the day you sell the house.

This is where deciding what you want to do with the property early on can help save you some of the costs of holding onto the home.

Another cost you can expect is when you sell the home: Taxes. This is pretty much a given, you will have to pay taxes on the successful sale of property. Be prepared for this to be a cost of the inherited home. Fortunately, the sale of the house should more than cover the amount you would pay in taxes.


Our third area that unexpected costs could sneak up on you are: Estate Taxes. More often than not, the inherited home and the estate as a whole will not be subject to estate taxes. This is because in Rhode Island, only estates valued at more than $1,537,656 will be subject to an estate tax.

If you happen to be involved with an estate that exceeds $1,537,656 in value then refer to the chart shown Here. This will show you the estate taxes you could expect to pay depending on the value of the estate.

So that should wrap up the costs you can expect for inheriting a property. In summary, you can minimize your holding costs (Bills) by selling the home as quickly as possible.

We’ll throw in a quick plug for our company here. We specialize in buying houses fast as we use cash instead of financing and we understand the probate process/inherited houses. If you want to learn more about us, we’re always happy to chat, or you can check out how we buy homes.

Speaking of selling the property, let’s dive into the specifics of agreeing to sell the property.

Agree To Sell Inherited Home

You’re ready to sell the home, that’s a big step forward. First, let’s get one big question out of the way:

Do you have any siblings?

If you answered Yes, then this next paragraph is for you. If you answered No, then you may have avoided some headaches and can skip ahead to where we pick up with informing the court.

So you have some siblings that inherited the house with you… Oh boy. No, I’m kidding; this isn’t necessarily bad. Shared inheritance can allow a family to share responsibilities so that one sibling isn’t getting all of the stress. The easiest path moving forward is for all of the siblings to agree to sell the home.

Sometimes the easiest path, isn’t the one that gets chosen. Maybe you have a sibling or two that doesn’t want to sell the house you’ve inherited. I’m no expert in family relations but I do know real estate. It may help to lay out the pros and cons to them, similar to the table below:

No more costs with owning the homeSelling a family home
Get cash in your pocket to do what you wantParting with sentimental value
Less responsibility and stressThe selling process

Maybe now you’ve gotten your sibling(s) in agreement to sell the inherited home, we’re all back on the same page.

The next step is to get the probate court in agreement. This sounds much more intense than it actually is. All you have to do is let the Executor know that you are ready to sell. The Executor (as mentioned in the first section this could be you) will then get the “go ahead” from the probate court in order to sell.

Now it’s time to prepare to sell.

Prepare To Sell Inherited House In Rhode Island

Alright you’ve agreed to sell the home, now what do you have to do in order to prepare to sell?

If the house has been vacant or hasn’t been updated in quite some time, it may require a good amount of repairs. Maybe you have the funds and the time to dedicate to fixing the house up, but my guess is at this point you may just be drained and not want to deal with things like that any more.


If so, you can sell your house “as-is”. As-Is simply means the property will be sold in the condition that it currently is in today, that no repairs will be done to it. Typically there will be a smaller pool of people willing to buy a home in this condition but it is still very much possible to sell.

We personally love buying homes that need a little bit of love, but that’s because we’re big fans of doing the repairs ourselves. We’d love to say “yes, sell your house to us”. However, we want you to do what’s best for your situation. Maybe that is talking with a realtor, or maybe it is working with us.

If you do decide to do the repairs yourself, then we recommend contacting a few local contractors to receive quotes on the work needed. Also, think about getting in touch with a junk removal company. You’ve inherited the house, which means you’ve inherited all of the stuff as well. Some of it may be sentimental that you want to hold on to or it could simply be too much for you to go through everything.

Again, this is where selling as-is comes in. You could sell the house with everything in it, without any repairs, and still receive a fair offer. It all depends on what you are looking to do. If you have time and the resources, then fixing the home and sorting through everything could be the right choice. If you are tired and just want to be done without any hassle, then selling as-is might be the choice for you.

It’s really all dependent on you and your situation. These are the choices to consider when preparing to sell the inherited home, which brings us to our final step.

You’ve Sold Your Inherited Home: Relief

So this isn’t as much of an informative step as the previous four, but still one we believe counts as part of the process. You’ve successfully sold the property, but you’ve been through a lot. This process can be emotionally and physically draining.

It’s time for you to de-stress. You’ve sold the house and received a bit of money for doing so. You can use this and do whatever you want: maybe upgrade some items around your own house, or maybe take that trip you’ve been waiting for. Whatever your decision, you can now use some time to unwind and not worry about all of the stress you just went through.

This wraps up our guide on what to do once you’ve inherited a home in Rhode Island. We hope it’s been helpful and if you have any questions we’d love to hear from you.

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