Trusts & Estates Law/living trust


QUESTION: hi,it might be easier to say what the goal is. my mom and dad own the house free and clear 50/50 my dad demands no one sell his house(so i can stay in it) but he also said he wont leave it to one child? what is the best way to do this? I have at least 2 siblings that will for sure try to force the house sold? and is it a good idea to at least have mom add me now? does that help?? thank u please help!


Your parents can leave you a life estate which is the legal right to live there for the rest of your life.  Then the house would go to the other siblings.  You will need some help getting that set up so you may want to contact a local attorney who understands your state's laws.  

I wish it were simple but that is the be best advice.


David Disraeli

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QUESTION: thank u so much,but how can he leave me the house and 'not them' with out making it look like that? does he do a life estate in all our names then we can decide who stays who goes? but they will not be able to force probate?thank u so much!

You keep saying "he".  Wouldn't it pass to the surviving spouse first?  Assuming that is the case, the will would say my spouse gets all my property and at their death, I bequeath a life estate is such and such property to Ken and the remainder to my surviving children, or their heirs.  

You see property can be broken down into parts.  There is a present interest, a future interest, mineral rights etc.  Without boring you to tears, a  life estate DOES NOT give you ownership or the right to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the house.  It is simply the right to live there for your "life".

On the other hand, a trust could be created where you and your siblings are equal, except for your right to occupy the house.  It is very difficult to challenge a trust once it is funded.  In this case, what I am not clear on is whether you would be required to pay rent.  Clearly someone has to pay insurance and taxes.  This is why you need an attorney.  It needs to be done right.

I am not an attorney nor do I know what state you are in.  A living trust would allow your parents to place the house in trust until the second of them passes.  Then the house or any other assets would go immediately to the remaining beneficiaries.  There would be no probate if you place the house in a living trust - making it very very difficult for your siblings to challenge it.  

I'm not sure that a trust can provide rent free real estate.  I don't know how old you are or why you are receiving preferential treatment, but I would imagine the the other would be very upset if they had to wait 30 years to receive their share of the house.  Sounds like tricky situation.

I can work through this with you but not by email and only if your parents are completely on board.  

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David Disraeli


I can answer general questions about estate planning and trusts. I can also answer questions about estate tax reduction and advanced charitable giving, family partnerships and asset protection. I may have already answered your question here: or here


I have worked for 24 years with clients and their attorneys to formulate estate plans to meet client goals. I have found many mistakes made by client attorneys and were able to have them corrected. I focus on making sure that beneficiaries are protected from current or future spouses and lawsuits so the wealth stays in the family. I have also published a book on Aging Parents which can be found on Amazon

President and founder of The Personal CFO Inc.


Certified Financial Planner 1994

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