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How does your home fit into your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2023 | Estate Planning

Estate planning for your home can be fairly complicated. On one hand, it’s a very valuable asset, so you know that it’s a major part of your plan. On the other hand, it is much different than strict financial assets that you are leaving to your heirs, or even smaller, tangible items that they can take with them. Finally, the family home often has a lot of sentimental value, which can create some issues.

It’s important to consider all of these things when doing estate planning, so let’s break down what they may mean for you.

Co-ownership may work

First of all, since it is such a valuable asset, you may want to consider co-ownership. This means that you leave the home to multiple heirs jointly. It often happens when siblings all want to inherit their parents’ house or a second property, such as a vacation home. If you do this, keep in mind that your heirs are going to have to work together and make joint decisions. It can be beneficial to talk to everyone first and get their input so that you know how this is going to go.

You may want to sell the home

An easy option, if you’re looking to divide the value of the house, is just to sell it and then split up the money that is earned. It does make it easier to divide your assets among multiple beneficiaries. In that way, doing this can reduce the odds of a dispute. But you also have to consider that heirs who wanted to keep the house – perhaps due to that sentimental value – may not be happy to simply receive a portion of the earnings.

You can just choose one person

Finally, it’s always important to remember that you don’t have to divide your assets equally between your children. This does raise the odds of a dispute, but it can work in some situations. A wealthy family may have multiple properties, for instance, so different heirs simply inherit different homes. You can also leave the home to one person and split the rest of your assets between the others.

No matter what you want to do, there are options to accomplish these goals. You just need to know about the legal steps that are necessary.