You were never much of a rolling stone, and you settled down to raise your kids in one spot pretty early. The family home means a lot to you – and you presume that it means a lot to your adult kids as well.
Just the same, you may want to think twice before you leave the home to them in your estate plan.
What’s the problem with leaving the family home to the kids?
When you have multiple children, leaving the siblings the family home in equal shares can create very unequal results – or situations can develop that end up driving a wedge between them. For example:
- One sibling may not want to be in an ongoing co-ownership situation with the others. Maybe there are personality conflicts, or maybe that sibling needs the money they could get from the sale of the home. If the others aren’t in a position to buy their sibling’s share, that could create a lot of family drama.
- They may disagree about what to do with it. Maybe one sibling wants to move in, one wants to rent it out and the third wants to leave it like a monument to the past. Either way, there may be serious disputes about equity, upkeep and utility bills that could tear the family apart.
- It may end up being a nightmare asset. What if one of your adult children should die soon after you do? If they leave their share of the family in equal shares to their three children, that makes the property even harder to manage.
Finally, you may need to face the fact that none of your children may want the family home. They may have all built lives in other places, and uprooting themselves to move back home may not be in their plans.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options for handling your assets. The sooner you look into your estate planning options, the better.