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One tactic to keep your parents’ home

One of the biggest estate planning questions, for many adult children, is what they should do with their parents’ home.

They may want to keep it from a sentimental standpoint. That’s where they grew up. Maybe their parents built it. They have memories there, they know what it meant to their parents, and they can’t stand to just up and sell it right away. It feels wrong.

However, the home may be expensive to keep. Even without a mortgage, you have property taxes, upkeep costs and much more. Siblings may not want to commit to spending thousands of dollars every year to keep the home in the family.

To solve this riddle, one group of siblings opted to keep the home as a sort of family vacation destination. They’d all share it and use it for getting together. No one would live in it full time. When no one was there at all, they simply rented it out as a vacation home to others coming to the area.

After all, they didn’t need it to be an income property. They just had to rent it out for enough weekends to pay the bills. They could then block off the dates they wanted — Christmas, for instance — and use the home to keep on spending time together as a family.

Is this the right solution for everyone? Of course not. Every situation is unique. However, it is definitely worth considering, and it may be something that children and their parents want to talk about in advance as the parents look into their estate planning options.

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