Passing a home to kids while housing a surviving romantic partner

Adult children in Arizona sometimes learn that their parent wants to keep a home in the family while also giving their romantic partner a place to live. After hearing your mother or father express this wish, you may have mixed feelings. You naturally worry that an unclear estate plan might leave a home entirely in the hands of the boyfriend or girlfriend. A life estate deed might protect your interests. It allows someone to pass property to children while providing a home for a surviving partner.

Advantages of a life estate deed

A life estate deed is an estate planning instrument used in conjunction with a trust and will. While still alive, a person sets up a trust and transfers the home into the trust. This removes the home from the probate process when the original owner of the home passes away. The person’s will would then specify that an individual, not necessarily the heir, has a right to occupy the home until death or choosing to move out. Upon that person’s death, the will then calls for the home to transfer to the designated heir. The estate plan may also impose conditions on the occupant, such as paying for utilities and upkeep.

Possible outcomes without a clear estate plan

Although people sometimes express their wishes during their lives, they might never get around to putting them in writing. Someone who wants to house a surviving romantic partner might elect to place the boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s name on the deed. This would very likely cause that person to inherit the home instead of a family member. In other situations, when the estate plan is unclear, family members could have the ability to evict the surviving romantic partner.

Prevent conflicts with estate planning

The subject of housing an elderly significant other can be sensitive for children concerned about their inheritance. A homeowner may want to explore estate planning with a lawyer to identify strategies that balance love of children with a romantic partner.