Real estate inheritance could cheat sibling out of home

DEAR BOB: My husband and I, in our 70s, live in our home of48 years. Our three children are in their 40s. Our will stipulates the housewill go to the three siblings upon our death. However, since one unmarrieddaughter living at home has been on disability for the last 25 years, we wonderif that is a good idea? If her brother and sister want their financial share ofthe house, the disabled daughter would not have the money to buy their shares.Nor would she have a place to live. We want to show compassion and yet be fair.Our children are very kind, sincere and loving of each other. Wanting theirshare of the money would be based on need, not greed. What should we do? –MaryJane T.

DEAR MARY JANE: That is a difficult situation with no rightor wrong answer. If I were in your circumstance, I would probably leave thehouse to the special-needs daughter alone. Or, you could leave it to all threesiblings equally but giving the daughter a life estate in the house as long asshe lives in it.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

Either way, the disabled daughter will have a place to live.I presume the house is mortgage free so making mortgage payments is not anissue.


DEAR BOB: I have heard that some people can have a customhome constructed by a builder and after construction is complete wind up with50 percent to 60 percent equity in their new homes. Is this true and how can Igo about doing this? –Greg H.

DEAR GREG: That’s easy. Just hire a quality custom-homebuilder who charges low construction prices! If you already own a building lot,that gives you a head start.

There is no guaranteed way to turn a fast profit on newcustom homes unless you can lock-in a low construction price and market valuesrise during the construction period.


DEAR BOB: Please explain how a reverse mortgage works. Whoactually owns the home, the person buying out the mortgage or the homeowner?–David P.

DEAR DAVID: If all owners of a principal residence are 62 orolder, and there is no or a small existing mortgage balance, the reversemortgage lender pays the senior citizen homeowner either monthly lifetimeincome, a lump sum, and or a credit line (except in Texas). It’s thehomeowner’s choice which alternative or combination is preferred.

The homeowner continues to own the home, subject to thereverse mortgage, which does not require any repayment until the homeownersells the residence, moves out longer than 12 months, or dies.

Then the reverse mortgage “matures” and must bepaid off, including principal and accrued interest. The remaining equity doesto the homeowner or the heirs. More details are in my special report, “TheWhole Truth About Reverse Mortgages for Senior Citizen Homeowners,”available for $5 from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or bycredit card at 1-800-736-1736 or instant Internet delivery at Questions for this columnare welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

Copyright 2006 Inman News

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