Can the house be listed to the deceased on a deed forever? What if the deceased was 70 years old and living in a 55-and-over community with his 40-year-old son?
Her will left everything, including the house, to her adult son. The son is now wondering if and for how long he can stay in his home in the senior community. Can he stay put, or will he have to sell the house and move?
lehighvalleyhigh.com recently published an article entitled “Can son remain in 55-and-over community after parent dies?” The article explains that the deceased individual’s name can stay on the deed indefinitely. However, when the mother dies, the property passes “by operation of law,” regardless of what the deed says.
For example, if the deed was titled as husband and wife, the surviving spouse would become the sole owner by operation of law at the death of the first spouse, no matter if there was a new deed filed.
Another important issue with this scenario involves the details in the by-laws of the 55-and over community.
It would be rare that the 40-year-old son could stay in the home in the 55-and-over senior community.
It is doubtful that the decedent owned the right to convey his/her property interest to a non-senior.
In addition, the mother’s will also should be reviewed thoroughly to determine whether the will leaves the residuary estate to the son, or if it specifically leaves the home to the son.
If the son inherits the residuary estate, then the home will be liquidated, and the proceeds are inherited by the son. If the mom’s will specifically leaves the home to the son, the bequest will most likely fail. In that case, the home would be liquidated, and the proceeds would pass as part of the residuary estate.
Finally, there’s also a good chance that the son may not have been living there with the approval of the by-laws, but there could be an exception to the by-laws for someone who is disabled. Speak with your estate planning attorney if you have questions or concerns.
Reference: lehighvalleyhigh.com (Jan. 13, 2020) “Can son remain in 55-and-over community after parent dies?”