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Can an adult child inherit your home in a senior community?

Since Arizona is one of the most popular places to retire in the U.S., we have no shortage of senior living or “55+” communities. Whether you chose your community because you wanted to be able to play golf every day or simply to downscale to a small condo with little upkeep, you may be wondering what your options are for it in your estate plan.

Like any home, you can leave it to an adult child if you’d like. Of course, you need to discuss it with them first. Unlike other homes, however, they may not have the option to live in it. They might need to sell it and keep the proceeds.

Certainly, that will make for a nice inheritance. But what if they’d prefer to make it their home? These communities can be very appealing to adults of all ages. However, the intention of them is to let seniors be around those of a similar age, generally in a nice home convenient to grocery stores, doctors and other places with at least some of the maintenance provided for them.

Understanding the 80/20 rule

That’s why they typically have an “80/20 rule.” That means at least 80% of the homes must be owned and occupied by someone in the designated age group (usually 55 and older). If your community is at that point when your child inherits the home, they may not have the option of residing in it if they don’t meet the minimum age requirement or they have children. Many communities don’t allow minor children to live there.

It’s best to find out what the rules are for your community. You can find them in your covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R) document. You may choose to ask someone with your homeowners’ association (HOA), but have them point you to the language in your CC&R to be sure you have accurate info.

Determining how to address your home in your estate plan is just one of numerous things you can address now to make sure that your loved ones will be able to benefit from everything you’ve worked hard for throughout your life. Experienced estate planning guidance can help ensure that you make the best decisions.



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