Concord, CA asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Elder Law for California

Q: How do I best give (or sell for a nominal amount) my house to one of my daughters?

I'm 83 and she is my caretaker and we live together. She has put her life on hold to care for me and I want her to own the house before I die. I have an old living trust that is no longer relevant. I believe the trust splits the property equally between my five children. What type of attorney do I see?

2 Lawyer Answers
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Mateo, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I recommend you talk with an Elder Law Attorney as you raise many important issues very specific to elder law.

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Carlsbad, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Do NOT give the house away. It will ruin the tax advantage you have for holding it. If you let your daughter inherit it then she will get to inherit the house with the present value as her tax basis. If you just give it to her she will take YOUR tax basis, which is the amount you paid for it originally. When she sells it some day (maybe) she will want the higher tax basis.

If it is time to fix up your Will and Trust, you should find a Trust attorney or an Elder Law attorney. You can Google one or call you local bar association and ask for a referral; they usually screen those attorneys very well.

There are special advantages to having her live with you if that kept you from going into nursing care, but those exceptions can be hard to get and I would not count on them. Better to plan on using your Will or Trust.

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