Should You Give Your House Away?

If you’re thinking about it because you want to make sure it stays in the family or you have some concerns about Medicaid in the future, be careful. There can be serious consequences if not executed just right.

Couple unloading boxes from moving van
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A house is typically one of the most valuable assets someone owns, both financially and sentimentally. It makes sense then that, out of love and generosity, many parents want to give their houses to their children during their lives or pass them down as an inheritance. It’s difficult to imagine that giving your child your family home could backfire, but it might — especially if you do not understand all the pitfalls and benefits.

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Tracy Craig, Fellow, ACTEC,  AEP®
Partner and Chair of Trusts and Estates Group, Seder & Chandler, LLP

Tracy A. Craig is a partner and chair of Seder & Chandler's Trusts and Estates Group. She focuses her practice on estate planning, estate administration, prenuptial agreements, guardianships and conservatorships, elder law and charitable giving. She works with individuals in all areas of estate and gift tax planning, from testamentary estate planning and business succession planning to sophisticated lifetime leveraged gifting techniques, such as grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), intentionally defective grantor trusts, family limited liability companies and qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs). Tracy serves in various fiduciary capacities, including trustee and personal representative (formerly known as executor). She also works with clients on issues facing elders.