So what do you do when one of the children in the family needs to live at the premises after the parents pass away? Hello everybody, my name is Robert Mansour. This is an issue that happens sometimes when one of the kids wants on the premises after both parents die.
So sometimes a family will come in and they'll say, "Maria is living with us. We have seven kids, and Maria is one of them. She's living in our house with us. She's taking care of us. She prepares our food. She goes to the grocery store. She's been lovely and very helpful, but she's fallen on hard times." I often have to ask the client, "Well, what are we going to do after you both pass away? Is Maria going to get to stay in the house?", or Johnny, or whoever the sibling might be. So you have to be very careful about that because the other six or seven kids in the family may not like that. They may want to sell mom and dad's house and divide the money. They may want to rent out mom and dad's house and divide the proceeds of the monthly rent. Does that child, Maria, Johnny, or whoever is living there, do they get to stay there forever?
So this is one of those issues that I talk about with clients. I say, "Well, what do you want to do?" On a recent case, for example, a client said, "Well, I don't want them to stay there forever, but I also don't want to kick them out." So we came up with a plan that allowed Maria, in this case, to stay at the home and to live there for an additional six months after both parents pass away. We figured that would give Maria enough time to figure out what's going to happen, another opportunity to maybe find an apartment, to move out, or make other arrangements. Because the house was worth $500,000 and other children were interested in selling that home and dividing the money.
We also indicated that the house needed to be sold within a certain period of time. Otherwise, the trustee has no real guidance. Now in some cases, we leave it up to the trustee. But in other families, it might be good to put some kind of time limit on it and say Maria needs to move out by this time and the house needs to be sold by X amount of time; within six months, one year, or whatever the case may be. These are issues that need to be discussed whenever there is real property involved with family residence. What are we going to do about that residence? Do we sell it? Do we rent it? Does somebody get to live in it?
These are issues that, in some families, it's very important to discuss during the estate planning consultation. What's more important is that the estate planning documents, the living trust, the will, whatever the case may be, says with great detail what is going to happen. Because it is better to have more instructions in there than to leave it up to chance, or leave it up to the trustee to make things up as they go along, especially when there are more than two or three kids involved. That's really where you want to come up with some distinct and good guidelines for the trustee to follow. Thank you for joining me on this video. Again, my name is Robert Mansour. I'm an estate planning attorney here in the Los Angeles area. Thanks for watching. Please call (661) 414-7100 for help with your estate plan.
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