Inheriting Property and Estate Planning Part I by Gino DiMeo
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With home prices skyrocketing in the Carroll Gardens area over the last couple of decades, estate planning has become a topic of major importance amongst families in the area. Homes that were bought by middle class folks at a relatively reasonable price many years ago are now worth 3 and 4 million dollars. In 2014 I contributed to an Observer article called “As Brownstone Money Rushes into Carroll Gardens, Families Fall Apart”. It’s true. This has caused huge family rifts and some are irreparable. This is where estate planning comes in. Talking about what’s going to happen when a parent passes away is a difficult conversation to have but essential. This New York Times piece discusses the option to leave a home to your heirs while you are alive in lue of the standard will.
A whole nother topic, which I’ll get into in future blogs, is about what the adult children do after inheriting the property. It’s a stressful time and I’ll have tips to alleviate some of that anxiety. But before any of that happens there is something the parent can do to help them. Planning early and having open discussions will give them plenty of time to figure things out before they are catapulted into a situation where emotions are already running high. No one wants to have extra to worry about while they are grieving, and having “the talk” while a parent is still around will alleviate this issue.
There are two blogs I’d like to share with you on this subject. The first thing to consider is how to divide your inheritance. Will one of your children receive more than another because they have greater need? This Washington Post piece talks about that very question. Once that is figured out, letting your children know what you’ve decided is the next step. There is absolutely no easy way to do this. It’s a talk so many avoid having but the relief and clarity that comes after having this conversation is significant. Kiplinger shares pointers in their article entitled “The Family Money Talk You Must Have”.
Stay tuned for more advice on the topic of estate planning and inheriting property in future blogs. In the meantime I’d like to refer a couple of talented real estate and estate planning attorneys for you you keep in mind. I’ve worked with Peter and Graig Martin of Martin and Loiacono Attorneys and can’t recommend them enough.