The idea of leaving real estate to your children sounds like a good idea, but in actuality, it can cause friction between them. There are many issues that can arise, such as whether or not to keep the home, and your children could end up in court battling it out. If you are considering leaving your children real estate, here is what you need to know.
What Problems Can Occur?
One of the biggest problems your children could face with inherited real estate is whether or not to keep or sell the property. If all of the children have equal shares in the property, agreement between all of your children is necessary. If the children are split on what to do with the property, this can create problems.
Another issue that can occur is the cost of upkeep for real estate. If your children do opt to keep the real estate, they will be responsible for maintenance expenses and taxes. Depending on the specific situation, this could cause even more turmoil. For instance, if repairs are needed and half of the children want to opt for the costlier repairs instead of the inexpensive wanted by the other siblings, there could be issues.
What Can You Do Now?
During estate planning, you can take steps to help your children avoid conflicts. If you plan to leave the real estate to the children, you can elect to give one sibling the power to make decisions regarding selling or keeping the home.
You can also elect to split up some of the property. For instance, you can leave one child the vacation home and leave the other child the family home. With each child having full control over one piece of property, they do not have to confer with each other regarding ownership and maintenance.
Regardless of how you settle the real estate question, it is important that you discuss your decisions with your children before passing. You can gauge how each child feels about your decisions and potentially make changes to your estate planning to ensure that everyone's wishes are respected. Your children might be less upset with your decisions if you take the time to explain the decisions that you have made.
Consult with an estate planning attorney so that you can fully explore what options are available for leaving real estate to your children. By working with an attorney, you can possibly take advantage of specific state laws to avoid conflict with your children. Click for more information.