Protecting Your Golden Years

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Wills can prevent unintentional homelessness

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2018 | Firm News, Wills |

Many Georgia families bristle at the suggestion that they sit down and create an estate plan. That can be especially true for those who don’t have significant assets, and who view wills as little more than yet another expense. Without proper planning, however, parents can unintentionally leave an adult child homeless, even though the desire was always for him or her to inherit the family home. 

Take, for example, a family in which an adult child moves back in with his parents to help them as they age. There may be a verbal agreement that the adult child will inherit the home once the last surviving parent passes away. Without a legal will outlining that desire, however, the end result can be far different than what was intended. 

Many times the parents pass away and the adult child continues to live in the home, paying taxes and taking care of maintenance needs. This can go on for years until a need arises that cannot be met without proper title to the property. For example, it may not be possible to obtain homeowner’s insurance, obtain a mortgage, gain access to a line of credit, or use the home for any financing need without documents that show legal ownership. 

That can leave the adult child without the means to take care of the home, much less finance against it or sell it. A series of events can lead to an eviction and the home being sold for unpaid taxes, or the home falling into such disrepair that it no longer has any value. All of these outcome could have been avoided had the parents taken the time to create the proper documentation. This is just one example of why wills are such an important tool for Georgia families from all walks of life.