As your loved ones age, inevitably some hard questions will need to be answered. One question that often comes up is whether or not to place someone in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility. In the face of certain medical needs, these facilities may be the best option for your loved one. However, this decision brings up several more issues that will need to be addressed once this option has been decided upon. Should another family member take ownership of the home? Should you sell it? If you sell, who gets the any profits from the sale? What about the tax implications of the sale? Et cetera. Read on to learn how to handle the property of older adults when your loved ones are ready to downsize or move into an assisted living facility.
Things to Consider
While you may view the property of older adults as a burden, it is still their property. Remember to treat both the humans and their property with kindness and respect.
Selling the Home
Selling the home may be the best option is there not any family nearby who would be able to take ownership of the home. If finding the funds to pay for the nursing home or assisted living facility becomes challenging, then selling the home may help to bridge the gap. However, there are some factors to consider before putting the house up for sale.
Before the home is put up for sale, someone will need to make it presentable for photographs and showings. If no family members are nearby, then there will be the added expense of paying someone to take of this. In addition, someone will need to go through all of the possessions in the home to make sure that all the sentimental or essential items are removed for safe keeping.
You will also need to consider the real estate market at the time in the area. If the home doesn’t sell right away, it will require some basic cleaning and upkeep as long as it remains on the market.
Keeping the Home
Sometimes there are deep emotional attachments to houses, especially if it is the family home that you grew up in. If the thought of selling the home is too emotionally painful, you may consider keeping it. But this comes with its own set of concerns. If you have a separate home, you may need to consider which home to keep. If you keep both, you will need to ensure that you are able to afford the expenses of maintaining two homes. No matter how much emotional attachment you may have to a home, sometimes it is not feasible or logical to keep the family home.
As you work through all of the questions and concerns of caring for an aging loved one as well as what to do with the property of older adults, remember to have patience and not make any hasty decisions. One of the best things you can do is to speak with an elder law or estate planning attorney who can help guide you through some of these decisions. They should be able to speak with you about your needs as well as those of your family members and how your decisions will impact your own finances and taxes. There is not doubt that this is a difficult journey, but it is an essential part of getting your loved ones the care and assistance that they need.