What is the best way to pass on property after you have died?
Question Details: My parents and I are purchasing a house that they will live in until they pass on. The intention is to title the deed so that when that sad event happens the house will pass to me. My idea is a joint tenancy with right of survivorship deed. Will that work? What I best.
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Joint tenancy with right of survivorship will certainly work and accomplish this, but you and they need to be warned: it will make you an owner now (anyone on a deed is an owner). That means, among other things:
1) You'd have to agree to and sign any mortgage, HELOC, or reverse mortgage--which means that if they need a HELOC or reverse mortgage for funds to live on, you will be obligated to repay it along with them, and could be sued if it is not paid.
2) You'd have to agree to a sale of the property, so if their circumstances change and they want or need to sell (e.g. say they become incapable of independent living), you could veto that.
3) As an owner, if someone is injured at the home due to some condition they failed to fix (e.g. a broken or loose stair, or a torn rug or carpet posing a tripping hazard), you could potentially be sued, too.
4) If you are sued for some reason and get a judgment against (e.g. a car accident exceeding insurance coverage), a lien could potenially be put on your parent's house.
In short, JTROS is not just a way to pass the property when the sad day occurs, but changes ownership right now.
There are several options to have them live in the house but it go to you: JTROS; them having a life estate and you the remainder interest; a will; a trust. Each has pros and cons. You and your parents need to sit down with an estate planning lawyer to make sure you pick and implement the option best for all of you.