If you are the child of an aging parent, one of the most difficult decisions that you may have to make is if and when you may have to move one or both of your parents out of their home into a nursing home or other facility. It is probably even more difficult when you lived in that same house as a child.
One of the hardest things for any child to do is to make a decision that a loved one is no longer safe or cannot be properly cared for in their own home. Even without the emotional and psychological issues, you now have to find a place for them to live like a nursing home that will be comfortable for them, convenient for you to visit, economically feasible and, even more important, be able to deal medically with his or her specific needs.
Another complicating factor over the last few years has been the crisis in the housing market. If you do have to move you parents out of their home, what do you do with the house? If you sell it in this market, you may lose money and could even be liable for the deficit. If you choose to keep it and rent it, you either have to manage the rental yourself or hire someone to do it. If you don’t live in the same city, hiring a management company may be your only option. But their fees can be so much that you won’t break even on the mortgage payments and upkeep of the property, and have trouble paying for your parent’s nursing home expenses.
This situation has changed over the last decade. If you put a house up for sale 10 years ago, the market would bear a reasonable price. There was a time when selling the house would pay for the parents’ care for several years. Now selling the house may be the least favorable option. At the same time the price of entering an assisted living facility or nursing home is increasing.
There are a number of estate planning options that can be explored before you find yourself in this situation. Consulting an experienced estate planning attorney now may save you time, money and emotional turmoil should you find yourself in this position down the road.
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