A woman recently sent a message to a financial advice column detailing a situation involving a home owned by her mother. The woman is in line to inherit the home from her mother. The point of contention is a stipulation that the mother’s boyfriend can also live in the house. The will states that the boyfriend must pay for utilities if he chooses to live in the home and cannot take on another girlfriend. The question caught the attention of financial planners in California and other areas of the country.
The woman is concerned because she is not tied legally, emotionally, or otherwise to her mother’s boyfriend. She explains she would like her mother’s home to remain in the family but is not interested in the hassle of removing the boyfriend from the house if it becomes necessary.
The estate planning expert who answered her question explained to the worried woman the options she possesses in the situation. The first choice the woman can make is to do nothing and trust her mother’s decision-making. If this choice works out, the woman will eventually own the house whether the boyfriend lives in it for a while. However, there is the chance the mother may put her boyfriend’s name on the deed if she doesn’t understand that he would then become at least a partial owner.
The second option is to direct the mother in the direction of an estate planning professional. A professional will organize the estate in a way that allows all three individuals to receive what they need or want. The mother will transfer home ownership to her daughter while providing access to the property to her boyfriend. The daughter will see her mother’s house remain in the family, and the boyfriend will be able to live his life out in the home if he chooses to do so.
The different needs and desires the members of a family can have may cause estate planning to become a tricky process at times. Individuals with questions regarding the planning of an estate will likely receive the answers they need by speaking to an estate planning attorney.