If you live in one of Arizona’s many communities for seniors, you likely have a home that’s worth a considerable amount of money. If the community is only for those 55 and over, or has some other age restriction to help ensure its relative tranquility for residents, you’ll need to consider that when you determine how to deal with it in your estate plan. Sometimes, people leave their homes to their children who take over ownership and residence. However, if you live in a 55+ or other age-restricted community, unless your adult child has reached the minimum age when you pass away, chances are that they won’t be able to assume ownership. Even if they are old enough, if they still have minor children, that could be another barrier to living there.

Review the CC&R document

Each community has its own regulations. That’s why it’s crucial to review your covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R) document to determine what is and isn’t allowed when a resident passes away. Typically, if a community does allow some people under the age requirement to live there, they follow an “80/20” rule that requires 80% of current owners to meet the minimum age requirement. You can’t predict what the ratio will be whenever you pass away. You can find out, however, if they make exceptions for those who inherit a property, as some do. They may also allow family members to take ownership of the home and rent it only to age-appropriate people.

Other options for the home

Before you spend time researching this, see if your child really does want to live there someday. Just because they commented a few times that it would be a nice place to live, that doesn’t mean they would actually feel comfortable there. You can still leave your home to your adult child for them to sell and keep the profits if that’s agreeable to them. You can also designate that the executor of your estate (who may be that child) sell the home and return the proceeds to your estate. Regardless, placing your home in a living trust can prevent it from having to go through probate. Generally, people’s homes are among the most valuable assets in their estate plan. Even if yours isn’t in a senior community, it’s important to have sound legal guidance as you address it in your legal documentation concerning your legacy.  Call us or contact us today for your free initial consultation.

Andre L. Pennington attributes his passion and success as an Arizona estate planning lawyer and licensed financial professional to one thing: wanting to do what’s right for his Family.