In some cases, parents do not want to leave their homes to their children. They feel like it would just be a burden for the kids to have to decide if they want to keep it or sell it -- not to mention going through with the sale and splitting up the money. It can even lead to estate disputes.
One option, of course, is to sell the house in advance. This way, the parents have to do all of the work on the front end, and they can just leave the money to the kids. This is far easier to divide than real estate.
However, there are still problems with this approach. Here are a few important questions to ask:
- If you do sell your home, where will you live as you grow older?
- Do you want to stay in your house so that you don't have to live in a nursing home or assisted living facility?
- If you decide to downsize, while that may help, do you now just have another house to sell?
- Is downsizing and buying a home really the best move in a seller's market, or are you just wasting money you could have given to the kids?
- Do the children actually want to keep the home in the family?
- Have you considered all of your options, such as putting the home into a trust?
There is no right or wrong answer that works for everyone. You need to carefully consider your situation, look at all of the legal options you have, and decide what is best for your estate plan.