Having Children Living in the Family Home
In a recent Hull & Hull article I noticed an issue that seems to be more common today than in the past. We too have had several Wills that have been prepared with clauses that require special attention to having children live in the family home after the parent has passed. Parents often encourage this or at least are sensitive to their children’s needs, perhaps because a child often becomes a caregiver. But it also presents a problem for the other beneficiaries in a Will. The question is how long should the accommodation be? And that period of time also means a deferral of proceeds to the other beneficiaries, to say nothing about the costs of upkeep of the home, some examples include taxes, insurance, utilities, and the list goes on.
For the beneficiaries, often brothers and sisters, the accommodation is ideally not very long. Yet the clause in a Will may be trying to rationalize the excessive cost of living in the GTA where many people are limited in their accommodation options.
In the Hull & Hull article, a deceased left a Will, and his definition was “a while.” You can understand when there are 7 surviving children this can be a problem. It also creates an issue for the siblings and often leads to infighting and large legal bills. In most of our documents, we are careful to have definitions around the timelines and some clauses that prevent the child residing in the home to stay indefinitely, but also not be able to leave the house and rent it and to also make sure the home is maintained so that the value of the property is sustained.
There are so many issues around one of the family members staying in a deceased person’s home. All worth exploration and definition. The goal is to accommodate the family member with this conditional gift but also to protect the other siblings or beneficiaries from what is also their part of the Estate without exposure to the asset.
Here is a copy of the Hull & Hull article and the outcome. Enjoy!
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This material is for general information and educational purposes only. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions.