Q: My mother is 89 years old and I am her caregiver. I work but bought a home so that I could meet her aging needs.
Both of our names are on the deed to my house because at the time, it was the best thing to do.
If she passes away, what happens with our home? What can I do to avoid any legal red tape?
A: You need to consult with a lawyer to examine the deed. If you and your mother own the home as joint tenants with right of survivorship, her interest would pass to you automatically, but it will cost you 4% inheritance tax on her portion. If you own the home as tenants in common, her interest would pass through her estate. If you are the sole child, it would come to you, but be subject to the same inheritance tax. If you are not the sole child, her half would go to you and the other asiblings unless there is a Will which leaves it to you.
If there is no mortage, you should discuss with a lawyer if it makes sense to convey the entire property to you to get her name off the deed. There is a one year look-back period, but, if she lives, you will avoid the inheritance tax. If there is a mortgage, you would likely need to re-finance as part of such a conveyance unless the bank would agree to release her from the mortgage and permit a conveyance to you subject to the mortgage.
You need a lawyer to help you sort this out.
Kathryn Hilbush agrees with this answer
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