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19-Jun-2008 4:43 AM -- Hal

I agree with editor - this involves some tricky planning.

I understand your goals - ideally there would have been some planning 8 years ago but you can still make it work. You and your girlfriend can grant your mother a life estate in the property now, which should work pretty well. Your mom would take subject to the mortgage(s) - but there is not much you can do about that at this point.

You should be aware of the fact that if you do grant your mom a life estate, she has an ownership interest in the property. This means that everytime you re-finance you will need her cooperation. Further, if you sell the property she will need to participate in that as well.

Perhaps a better approach would be for you to do a will (or better - a trust) in which you create a life estate for your mother. YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT OWN THE REAL ESTATE JOINTLY WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND BECAUSE IF SHE SURVIVES YOU - THE PROVISIONS OF YOUR WILL OR TRUST WILL NOT CONTROL.

There are potential income tax, transfer tax, and Medicaid planning issues so you may want to seek the advice of a qualified attorney.

Hope that helps.


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