I recently had a client who wanted her second husband to be able to live in her home after her death. Ultimately, the home would be distributed to her two children from her first marriage. Sounds pretty simple, right?
However, I asked her some important questions that should be considered when allowing an individual (spouse, child, or other) to utilize real estate after one's death. For example, I asked if her second husband had to continue making the mortgage payments (or would the estate pay for that). How long does he get to stay there? Until he dies? Perhaps a number of years? Who will be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property? Who will pay the utilities, taxes, and other expenses related to the property? What happens if the person fails to comply with the rules? Can they be evicted?
Whether or not you allow a second spouse, a child, a cousin, or anyone else to occupy your real estate after death, a solid living trust should spell out the details of that arrangement quite clearly or trouble may follow. Remember, it's not what's IN the document that leads to trouble - it's often what's NOT in the document that leads to trouble.
Comments are closed.