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Wondered if anyone could direct me to the right site
(Perhaps this is it)where retirees and those looking forward to retirement address the ownership of a home and the illness of a partner.

Friend has recently had the realization that her home, owned with another may be sold from under her due to the deteriorating health of the other.

She is seeing an elder lawyer. Fair is fair. If I put in 50/50 with a partner, not related to me by blood or marriage, is there a way to avoid such pitfalls? Plan to share a home similarly next year.

Will need a lawyer subsequently, but I want to know what the questions are before I get there. Like, should I adopt my friend? Create a corporation? That may sound crazy, but I heard of that years ago.

Hope someone is willing to talk about these things.

Thank you, trex88


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trex88 said: ...Friend has recently had the realization that her home, owned with another may be sold from under her due to the deteriorating health of the other.

She is seeing an elder lawyer. Fair is fair. If I put in 50/50 with a partner, not related to me by blood or marriage, is there a way to avoid such pitfalls? Plan to share a home similarly next year.


trex88,
Condolences to you and your friend.

One thing you might ask your attorney about is if it would help to get your mortgage as "Joint Tenants in Common with Rights of Survivorship." This address ownership issue if one of you dies. This may or may not address the ownership issue with an illness.

messerb
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The phrase you need to know about is "tenants in common". According to my real estate book, each co-owner has a certain percentage of the property, typically 50% if there are 2 co-owners. But it isn't the case that one person owns the living room and the other the dining room: the ownership is commingled. When one co-owner dies or whatever, the percentage is conveyed to her heirs. The other co-owner's interest is unaffected.

As you can imagine, there are significant tax issues relevant to mortgage deductions and paying the property tax.

I'm not a lawyer or a CPA, and I don't even play one on TV, but that's where I'd start when asking questions of a lawyer who really does know something. If it costs you a couple of thousand dollars to get competent advice and have correct documents drawn up, it seems to me that is a modest price.
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I am going to disagree with messrb here, but beware, I am talking from ignorance. According to my real estate book, "joint tenancy" means there is no division of ownership. In the event of debilitating illness of one partner, the other may be in for a nasty surprise.

Anyhow, these are all common terms regarding real property, and a competent attorney should be able to sort them out and explain them.

By the way, TMFTaxes has commented many times that co-ownership of property by unrelated persons is fraught with difficulty. I wouldn't extrapolate from that, that it shouldn't be done, but you want to have it all clear and in writing.
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