Many parents want to know the best way to leave a home to their children. Before you make a plan, you should first be sure that your children actually want the property. We have seen too many parents take on unnecessary financial hardship in order to keep a home as an inheritance their children do not truly want.
That said, here are some of the most common ways to leave your home to your kids:
Will. You can leave real estate to anyone in your will. Once the will has been probated, your children will receive title to the property.
How do you want to die? Do you want lifesaving treatments to be administered even if all brain activity has ceased? Is your family aware of your wishes? And perhaps the more important question, is your doctor aware of your wishes?
Included in a complete estate plan is a living will (or Advance Health Care Directive) nominating a health care agent and stating your wishes for end of life decisions and treatment. This document is clear and comprehensive, yet many times healthcare professionals still have a difficult time withholding life-saving treatments, even if administering them goes expressly against a patient’s clear wishes to the contrary.
Every single adult needs to have an advance health care directive written, signed and in place. This includes your children, as soon as they turn 18. This includes you. This includes your parents.
Without an advance health care directive in place, you would not be able to access your child’s medical records, if they are unable to communicate permission. You would not be able to ensure your health care decisions will be made the way you choose. And your parents lose the ability to communicate their wishes and remain in control as long as possible.
Three-time New York City Mayor Ed Koch died on Feb. 1, leaving an estate estimated between $10-$11 million. And it’s a good thing that “Hizzoner” loved governing, because one-quarter of his estate will be going to the state and federal governments.
During his tenure as Mayor, Koch was famous for asking people on the street, “How’m I doin’?” He would have been better served to ask that same question to a Personal Family Lawyer® before he passed on.
Many parents perceive a conflict between funding a child’s college education and building their own retirement nest egg. The conflict usually arises from the lack of financial resources to do both while funding daily living expenses, so parents become stuck between priorities and usually wind up doing nothing at all.
One of the things a Personal Family Lawyer® can help you do is sort out your priorities in a way that supports your family for the long-term. With that in mind, here are some guidelines on striking a balance between saving for your retirement and your child’s education: