Your Home Would Be a Terrible Inheritance for Your Kids

Home may be where the heart is, but after it’s inherited, it’s where heirs have to manage upkeep and deal with family conflicts related to what to do with it. What should parents do instead?

Smiling homeowners sit on the front porch of their house together.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Somewhere along the way, homeowners came to believe a non sequitur of sorts, that the "American Dream" includes not only buying a house but also passing that same home on to their children. And financial advisers have largely supported this tactic for passing along generational wealth.

But here's an unspoken truth: Houses make for terrible wealth transfer vehicles. To bequeath a house is often to pass along financial burdens, red tape, home maintenance responsibilities, potential family conflict and housing market volatility. If you're thinking of leaving your heirs your physical home, it's a good time to reconsider this conventional wisdom, because there are much more effective alternatives to secure your legacy and pass along assets to the next generation.

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This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

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Kristen Sieffert
President, Finance of America

Kristen Sieffert is a purpose-driven leader, passionate about finding ways to inspire others to dream bigger and create the lives of their dreams. In her current role as president of Finance of America Companies Inc., Kristen is committed to helping seniors live their retirement years with financial flexibility by putting the home at the center of the modern retirement.