selling home to children and keeping a place to live

we would like to sell our home to our daughter but make up a contract to keep a place for my wife and I to live until we perish. like a basement apartment The plan would be to sell the home to her and her husband for much less then the home is worth and draw up a contract with this stipulation.

is this something a lawyer could do?

Asked on March 13, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a lawyer could do this, but there is a better way to accomplish this (a more secure way for you), which a real estate lawyer could also do: when you sell her the property, retain a "life estate" in the basement unit--that is the right to live there for life. The reason a life estate is better is that with a lease or other contract, you can be evicted under certain circumstances, such as if you fail to make any required payments (e.g. if you are paying rent or a share of utilities) or damage the premises in some way, or possibly even just disturb your daugher and family sufficienty, or if she then sells the home to someone else and they want you out--but with a life estate, you cannot be removed. Definitely consult with a real estate attorney to understand this option.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a lawyer could do this, but there is a better way to accomplish this (a more secure way for you), which a real estate lawyer could also do: when you sell her the property, retain a "life estate" in the basement unit--that is the right to live there for life. The reason a life estate is better is that with a lease or other contract, you can be evicted under certain circumstances, such as if you fail to make any required payments (e.g. if you are paying rent or a share of utilities) or damage the premises in some way, or possibly even just disturb your daugher and family sufficienty, or if she then sells the home to someone else and they want you out--but with a life estate, you cannot be removed. Definitely consult with a real estate attorney to understand this option.


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