After the kids leave and their parents left alone at home, it may now seem too big and expensive to keep thinking, but you can wander in several directions and move on. .. Does it make sense to stay? What are your options, especially if one parent dies and the other is left to you?
Parents may consider moving to a senior continuous care retirement community, moving closer to an adult child and their family, or joining a family. This can help some creative plans sell one home, add a “suite in law” or combine finances to buy a home big enough for everyone By doing so, you have the potential to expand another home. Knowledge of real estate, finances, and personal tastes can lead to planning, and here is one area where experienced elder lawyers can help.
Multi-generational life, which is only one of many options, can become more common as people live longer. Shared households offer the added benefit of convenience and can save money. Two households can share expenses such as mortgages, property taxes, and utilities.
The success of an arrangement can depend on the level of flexibility that generations have in dealing with each other and the details of their individual life arrangements.
One area where communal living arrangements can go astray is the misunderstanding of both sides’ expectations. This may help you to enter into a family contract in writing that explains what you expect. The communal living arrangement deals with finances, real estate planning, and personal experience and beliefs. Here are some of the successes our office has dealt with.
Parents and adult children buying a home together. Parents live at home for most of their adult life, but homes need significant changes for accessibility for people with disabilities or from the closest adult child to allow regular visits It’s too far away. Adult children and families are open to the idea of buying a home together.
Parents sell their homes. Adult children and spouses sell their homes. Together, they buy a much larger home with more modern conveniences and accessibility for people with disabilities, or that can be made accessible to people with disabilities at less difficulty and expense. Parents may donate a down payment. He or she and her spouse make monthly mortgage payments because the family of an adult child also contributes to payment costs and part of the down payment, and the adult child earns regular income from employment.
Older lawyers can draft a family contract and work with members of the National Association of Realtors to attend the settlement. Houses can be jointly titled — half owned by father and mother and half owned by adult children and spouse. Be careful when naming. Each half will be a tenant as a whole, like between spouses, but as a whole will be a co-tenant with a right to life. If properly drafted, the agreement will later address Medicaid’s concerns as well.
One area where communal living arrangements can go astray is the misunderstanding of both sides’ expectations. This may help you to enter into a family contract in writing that explains what you expect. The communal living arrangement deals with finances, real estate planning, and personal experience and beliefs.
Parents move with their adult children. Widowed or widowed parents will live with their son or daughter and their family. Parents make monthly payments that are actually described as “contributions to household expenses” (not rent). It costs money to run a household that includes costs such as electricity, water, telephone / television, groceries, repairs, property taxes, and mortgages. Again, a written agreement is required to explain all of this. Informal written understanding can face difficulties with Medicaid’s rules regarding “gifts.”
When parents move with a family of adult children, they often need to make changes to their home, whether it adds a new bath or a “suite in law”. Zoning and building regulations need to be considered. Who should pay for what? If the parent pays for the change, a written agreement is required to avoid the possibility that it will be considered a “gift”.
Adult children move with their parents. One of the most successful plans for multiple clients is a “buy-in” where an adult child gets a mortgage loan and buys interest as a co-tenant with a right to life. Homes can be inherited by paying half the value and have protection to deal with the rules of Medicaid. We call it “the whole house for half the price of a house”.
None of these strategies should be attempted without expert advice, but you can create personalized custom arrangements for your family.
Janet Colliton, Esq. A certified elder lawyer. Her work Colliton Elder Law Associates, PC, is in the offices of Elderly Law, Life Care, Special Needs, Real Estate Planning, Real Estate Management, and 790 East Market St., Suite 250, West Chester, PA 19382, 610-436. Limited to guardians. -6674, colliton @ collitonlaw.com. She is a member of the National Academy of Elderly Lawyers and, along with Jeffrey Jones of CSA, is a co-founder of Life Transition Services, LLC, a service for families in need of care. Watch “A Plan Ahead” on Wednesday at 4 pm on radio station WCHE 1520 with Janet Colliton, Colliton Elder Law Associates, and Ron Ehman, Next Home Signature.
Pre-planning: Suggestion of some options for empty nests [Column]
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