Asked by Steffanie  |  Submitted September 14, 2015

We are wanting to get things 'in order' when it comes to my dad's finances. Will it be better to sell his house or keep it in the family?

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  Answers  |  1

September 14, 2015

Hi Staffanie, that answer really depends on how your father's estate is already structured or how he is planning on structuring it. Is the home willed or in a trust to go to more than one family member? Keep in mind that if there is no trust in place (such as a Revocable Living Trust which dictates where assets are to be distributed and holds assets), the home, along with all other assets will have to go through probate in the court to determine where assets get distributed and probate costs will need to be considered. A Will will help in that process but it won't keep costs of probate down or out of the picture like a Trust would. If the Trust owns the property, it can be distributed according to the Trust's wishes (i.e. your Father's wishes), and usually without going through probate, i.e. faster process and no probate fees, which can be quite costly to an estate. Now, having said all of that, if there is more than one family member set to take title of the property upon your Father's passing, it will depend on what all parties want - whether they all agree to keep it to rent it out & share in profits / cash-flow or have other family live in it, or they may want the proceeds from the home or their share and in that case, you would end up having to sell it or have the other title holders buy out one of the owners. You can see there are many possibilities and it ultimately depends on both your Father's and the benefactor's wishes. Please let me know if I can be of more detailed help to you. Feel free to message me privately.

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