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Why leaving your house to the kids could be problematic

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2022 | Estate Planning & Probate

If you only have one child, leaving them the house and everything else you own is simple. If you have more than one child, things get complicated.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind as you proceed with your estate plans:

Estate planning requires you to think far ahead

Thinking ahead to your death can be challenging. For starters, you can’t clearly anticipate the future ahead for either you or your loved ones.

Let’s say you have two kids, a boy and a girl, close to finishing high school. Can you tell which of them will have their own place in ten years? Or who will still be happy in the local area and who will live in another state?

All those things could affect who you want to leave the house to, or at least what they would do with it if you left it to them. So leaving it to both of them could cause problems. Maybe your daughter ends up scoring a high-paying job in New York and buys an apartment there. She can imagine nothing worse than returning to small-town life. She might want to sell the property when you die. Or she could perhaps afford to buy her brother out if she feels retaining it has investment potential.

Your son, on the other hand, finishes school and sets out to travel the world. After traveling, he returns – broke but with a renewed appreciation for the relaxed pace of life in North Dakota.  When you die, he might wish to raise a family in your house but be unable to buy his sister out. How do they settle things then?

The last thing you want is your kids arguing over assets you leave them. Getting help to think ahead and anticipate potential problems increase the chance your estate plan creates benefits, not problems for your family.