What is best to do if my mom is 91 years old and owns her home debt free?

UPDATED: Dec 3, 2013

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What is best to do if my mom is 91 years old and owns her home debt free?

My 2 siblings and myself are concerned with which direction to go concerning her home, which is the majority of our inheritance. If we sell the home before she passes away is she required to pay tax’s on the sale of the home. Secondly, will she lose certain benefits such as Medicare, etc. because of the money from the sale. Also, can she sell the home and distribut the money to us as it is our inheritance? Would we have to pay any kind of inheritance tax going this direction? We really don’t know the best route to take concerning this matter.

Asked on December 3, 2013 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There are a couple of ways to go.  One would be for your mother to create a living revocable trust and place the home into the trust, with you and your siblings as the beneficiaries of the trust.  A trust attorney can help you with this.  Another way would be to title the house in all four of your names, as joint tenants with rights of survivorship.  If your mom sells the house while she is alive and distributes the money, she will have to file a gift tax form with her taxes, which some tax preparers charge quite a bit to do.  You should not have to pay any estate taxes in any event, since the estate is not worth in excess of $5 million.

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