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Should you sell your home before doing estate planning?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2020 | Estate Planning

Estate planning typically focuses on leaving your assets to your heirs. There are other areas, to be sure, such as advance medical planning, but the main focus is on assets. One of the largest assets that anyone owns is their home, so they have to decide how to leave it to the children. 

Unfortunately, the family home is one area where disputes are common. Children may not agree on how to proceed. These disputes can become so confrontational that they no longer have a relationship with one another. 

For instance, say that you have three children. One wants to keep the home and even plans to live in it. The other two, who already own their own homes, want to sell it. If they force the sale, the sibling who wanted to stay feels like those siblings “stole” their house. If they are allowed to stay, though, the siblings who wanted to sell the home feel like the other sibling “stole” the money they would have gotten in that sale. 

One of the easiest ways to avoid this is just to sell the home in advance. Some people do this when they move into an assisted living center, for instance. Doing it means that the children have no say and no room for a dispute, and you can then just leave the earnings to them, split three ways. You can also set things up so that your estate sells the house when you pass away, allowing you to live in it for the rest of your life — but still helping to avoid a dispute among your heirs.

This process can be complicated, so make sure you know what steps to take to make your estate plans effective and secure. Talk with an experienced advocate about your goals.