Home Ownership And Estate Planning
Planning Ahead To Avoid Problems
Recognize Potential For Financial Elder Abuse
For most of us, our home is the largest, and most precious, asset we have. As tied as we are to our home, it may not be possible to remain there until death; many seniors need care that cannot be provided at home. Even if a senior can stay in the home, in-home caregivers may take advantage of cognitive decline or increased dependence and try and get a senior to leave them their own. In short, issues of home ownership toward the end of life are always significant and are best addressed earlier through solid estate planning. The estate planning and financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. can assist in planning or in litigating if a senior (and his or her home) is the target of financial elder abuse. If you need help, call us today at (415)441-8669.
Protecting Your Home
We have written elsewhere on our website about how you should consider putting the family home in a trust to protect the asset from caregivers or others who would seek to get their hands on it. You can read our suggestions about protecting home inheritance here: https://www.evanslaw.com/california-and-san-francisco-financial-elder-abuse-attorney-protecting-your-childrens-inheritance/. The main take away is that it is best for individuals to address questions of home ownership and inheritance well before situations of possible abuse arise. Married couples, for example, should consider leaving a life estate in the family home for the surviving spouse, drawn so that on the death of the survivor the home passes to the couple’s children. If you want to create a trust for your home and other probate for this kind of protection and to avoid probate, our co-counsel can help. See a full explanation of estate planning services on the Estate Planning Practice Area tab: https://www.evanslaw.com/practice-areas/estate-planning/.
End of Life Decisions
Even in cases where an outsider such as a caregiver may not have designs on the family home, questions of what to do with the home come up where, for example, the senior needs to enter a nursing home or care facility. Ordinarily, the home is sold under those circumstances. But the proceeds may be substantial and what happens to that money should reflect what the senior would have wanted to happen to the house had he or she still owned it at death. In other words, the money should be left to the same beneficiaries as the house would have been. In most cases, that’s the children. Whoever is in charge of the money and bills must be careful to keep track of the money so the senior’s wishes are fulfilled on death. That will be the trustee if the house was in a trust. Where the trustee fails in their duty to trust beneficiaries, our litigators can represent you in recovering from losses.
Home ownership at the end of life raises all kinds of serious issues and can be a source for real, and devastating financial elder abuse if someone like a caregiver gets their hands on a senior’s home. Whether you need estate planning advice or a financial elder abuse litigator, Ingrid M. Evans and the other estate planning and elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm can help. Elder Call us today at (415) 441-8669, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.