Friday, October 30, 2020
Due to COVID-19, many people have had to balance working remotely with caring for their children. That being said, many are using their homes as an office and a school, while also maintaining it as a home.
The difficulty balancing, remote learning and homework, virtual meetings and work calls, and shopping, cooking and cleaning has created more housework. It is no surprise that wear and tear and stress levels have increased.
Many are considering moving in with their parents or children are needing to consider the legal implications of doing so. When living with multiple generations, new considerations come into play. These considerations include, "the burdens and the benefits of raising and teaching the children together, dividing the chores, maintaining the home, and pooling their finances together during this time of uncertainty."
Below are a few initial questions that you should discuss with your family when considering living in a multigenerational home:
- Who is contributing to the purchase price?
- Is it a gift, advance on inheritance, loan, or will they hold an ownership interest equal to their capital contribution?
- How do you equalize your estate to the remainder of your family?
- What happens if a couple gets divorced?
- Who has the right to reside in the home and how will the ownership be divided?
- What happens if a parent must later reside in a nursing home for care?
- Do they have sufficient assets in their name to pay for nursing care or will Medicaid look to his or her ownership interest in the home for payment?
- If one of the owners dies, who receives his or her interest in the home?
With all of the uncertainty surrounding us, these questions are very important, and the answers even moreso.
See Rebecca MacGregor, Legal Considerations of Living Together in a Multi-Generational Home, Bowditch & Dewey, Estate, Financial & Tax Planning Group, October 13, 2020.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.