Author Topic: Broke FIL wants to sell us his FL condo for $1 while he continues to use it.  (Read 4003 times)

champion

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Question:

My father-in-law wants to sell my wife and me his Florida condo for $1. He is worried about losing the condo to medical fees in the event of needing Medicaid to cover potential long-term care.

He has made a good middle-to upper-middle class living, but is a big spender, has never saved any money for retirement, still carries some consumer debt, etc.  Still works, although he's down to about half-time by now.

The idea is that we would take ownership of the condo now along with everything that entails but that he and his wife (my wife's stepmother) could still use it for vacations several times a year throughout their lives. They are about 70 and perfectly healthy. But now we would pay the taxes and condo fees and also do the work of renting it out for 6 months a year (the maximum allowed) which currently more than covers the annual costs.

On one hand, this is a roughly $100,000 value being given to us, which is nice. And the motivation is mostly loving–he wants to protecting this asset from being eaten up by health care costs so he can leave it to his daughter.  On the other hand, this puts us on the hook for ongoing condo fees, taxes, and costs and/or the hassles of covering those expenses by renting the place out.

If indeed my father-in-law does end up in asset shredding long-term care, this will turn out to have been a good way to save the condo. But if my father-in-law doesn’t end up in long-term care, we will have taken on a big burden many years earlier than necessary just to get something my wife would have ultimately inherited anyway. Or worse, if my father-in-law needs the money for something not covered by Medicaid, like in-home care or just other old age expenses, we could end up taking on 10 years of condo expenses/hassles only to feel obligated to sell the condo and give him all proceeds. Or maybe he’ll need to live there full-time instead of just vacationing there, rendering our “ownership” an expense without any benefits in terms of our own potential use of the condo.

Do you have any thoughts on how to handle a situation like this? A) Should we do it? B) How should we talk to my in-laws about it?

Thank you,

Champion

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Do you trust the man and his wife?   That's a big factor.

Medicare has rules to claw back assets that people try to shelter like this.   You had best look into them.

Contact the condo mgmt. and find out if there are any special assessments in the works.   You are a potential purchaser.   You'll also want to know what kind of reserves the condo mgmt. has.

Frankies Girl

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Nope. BIG NOPE.

Beside the fact that you'd lose "stepped up cost basis," it is just an all-round bad idea. Especially if you're not going to be living there yourself, so you'd lose the whole residency perk that might lessen the blow of owing the whole enchilada on the condo if you buy it for the low, low price of $1.

http://www.thetaxinstitute.com/property/

So quick breakdown:

Condo is worth $100K
You buy it from FIL for $1
You now owe $99,999K in profit for the killer deal you just made on this purchase. Which is sucky.

And added bonus - you get to manage it, find renters for it, pay the taxes and maintain it while FIL and stepmom use it for no charge? Sounds AWESOME. /sarcasm

And how are you going to sell it if he really needs it and demands you gift the money to him? Cause you better believe that if you "gift" him close to 100K it is going to cause some fireworks in your tax returns...

What your FIL should do: Consider that the condo is just a place to vacation to, not to be imbued with great sentimental attachment. If he is worried about needing money at some point in the future, the smart thing would be to sell the condo (if the market is nice where he is), take that money and invest it wisely in the market, and bask in the glow of no longer dealing with fees, property taxes, maintenance, and all the other headaches associated with owning as apposed to renting.

Trying to "save" this as an asset to pass on to an heir - shielding it or hiding it from being counted in assets if he ends up needing care - is really assbackwards. Concerning himself with leaving an inheritance above his own comfort/health, and trying to do so in a sure-to-screw-over-his-kid way like this is stupid.

And if the real reason is to hide it so he has a pot of money on the down low and can still slide into the government paying for his care, room and board, don't even think that Medicaid or other institutions won't consider looking back at least 5 years to see if there were any transfers of property and assets. They are VERY familiar with folks trying to game the system, and there are penalties for it, and what you're describing is a classic setup for that.
https://www.elderlawanswers.com/medicaids-asset-transfer-rules-12015

He is a middle class guy spending a bit too much and not slowing down. What he should be worried about is having enough money to take care of himself and not be a burden on his family.

See the condo as just a condo - easily replaceable, non-liquid asset. And the fact that this is apparently a vacation condo should be an easy no-brainer response similar to this:

"Hey, FIL, we really appreciate what you want to do about the condo, but it really would cause so many problems and cost all of more in terms taxes, lookback periods for Medicaid and all sorts of legal tangles. This won't work out the way you think it will and we'd end up having tons of issues and it really is too much for us to deal with ourselves. We also don't want to be in charge of rental property or trying to maintain stuff and really think it would be best if you just keep it until you need to sell it, or sell it now and invest it well. Leaving any sort of an inheritance is not necessary - we love you and want you to use your money and assets to take care of yourself even if that means you spend every penny you have - it's your money and we'd prefer it that way! We are going to be just fine!"


His property/funds should be used as needed to provide HIM/stepmom with funds necessary to have a decent rest of their life. Period. If there is anything left over, that's wonderful and you should be grateful, but better they spend every penny on making their life decent and not worry about adult children that are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. 
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 06:48:09 PM by Frankies Girl »
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Sibley

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Everything that Frankies Girl said. Do NOT buy the house from him for anything but fair market value and not a dollar less.

Zamboni

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I would also definitely not go for this idea.

My response would be more brief, though:
"Thanks, Dad, for the offer, but that's just not going to work for me."
I would repeat that, perhaps alternating with "No, but thank you" as many times as necessary.

You could be looking at 30 years of hassle and expenses related to owning a condo you would never buy under normal circumstances. He could legit be coming from a place of generosity, but there is definitely something in it for him: he wants to have a free vacation home without having to deal with the pain in the ass that it is to have a second home. If generosity was his main motivation, then he would sell it and give his kids some of the cash as a gift. He is pitching it as a win-win, but it is not a win for you in most outcomes. Unless a medicaid penalty kicks in that bites him in the butt (good link, Frankie's Girl), then it is a win-win for HIM only: he gets you to feel beholden to him for now for the "gift," while also vacationing for free in a property of his choice that someone else takes care of and pays to upkeep.

le-weekend

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Slightly related question -- my mother has put myself and my sister officially on the deed to her house so if she dies, it goes automatically into our names. Will we still have to pay capital gains tax?

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MrThatsDifferent

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I must be slow as I don’t understand why everyone is against this so far. The rental covers the costs, you’re not on the hook and you have an asset if/when they die or don’t want to lose anymore. Not sure why this wouldn’t be like any other rental property except you won’t have a mortgage right? Is paid off? Weird.

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And he wants the place to go to his daughter when he passes? I'm with Frankie girl too. Nope. Definitely does not sound like a win-win situation to me. Too burdensome.

Frankies Girl

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Slightly related question -- my mother has put myself and my sister officially on the deed to her house so if she dies, it goes automatically into our names. Will we still have to pay capital gains tax?

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Yup. You lose stepped up cost when you're on the deed too. Depending on how much the house was when she purchased it vs how much it is valued, it could be a LARGE tax bill when she passes. Say she bought the house 20 years ago for $150K, but she passes away, it's now assessed at $350k... you would be looking at splitting the taxes on that $200K gain (unless you both moved in and made it your primary residence for something like 2 years? I'm fuzzy on the details of residency).

Whereas if she had just left it to you both in her will, the cost basis of the property would be from the day of her death. So if she passed on January 1, 2018, and you take possession of it (after waiting on the transfers and paperwork) on March 1st, you'd literally have no stepped up cost since the value of the property would be whatever it was assessed at on January 1st. So you'd get the property free and clear with the ability to sell it and only pay taxes on the amount it appreciated from the time of her death to the time it sold (or get a break if it depreciated).

What she should do is either a "transfer on death" if possible, or just leave the house to you and your sibling in her will. The transfer on death should avoid probate (this is commonly done on things like retirement accounts - named beneficiaries there transcend probate) but even if it goes into probate, it would retain the stepped up cost when you both take possession.

Also, if either you or your sibling has spouses and get divorced, that property is now considered shared depending on your state's laws, in any case your mother has created several scary avenues that could endanger her possession of the property, and also killed off the stepped up cost (a HUGE benefit) by putting you both on the deed. I'd suggest contacting an estate lawyer to see what the options are and whether you can step this back at this point in time (if it is worth doing anyway). ALWAYS consult a lawyer when dealing with things like real property and transferring larger assets; there are so many ways to go wrong by accident.

As always, I am not a professional anything, consult real people that may know what they're talking about before taking anything as truth on the interwebz... refer to the first part of my signature, etc... :)


https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/avoid-probate-book/chapter5-1.html
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-montalk-20160424-column.html
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 09:17:46 PM by Frankies Girl »
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FINate

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I must be slow as I don’t understand why everyone is against this so far. The rental covers the costs, you’re not on the hook and you have an asset if/when they die or don’t want to lose anymore. Not sure why this wouldn’t be like any other rental property except you won’t have a mortgage right? Is paid off? Weird.

Because the entire scheme is a minefield of tax, legal, and family dynamic issues. It's a hot mess. Run away!

Sibley

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I must be slow as I don’t understand why everyone is against this so far. The rental covers the costs, you’re not on the hook and you have an asset if/when they die or don’t want to lose anymore. Not sure why this wouldn’t be like any other rental property except you won’t have a mortgage right? Is paid off? Weird.

If you're not the US, there's no way you'd know. If you're in the US, you'll need to know this at some point.

Medicaid has rules in place to prevent abuse by people with assets. Basically, if you give property or sell it for a token amount (not fair market value), then you later need Medicaid, the government will take a look at financial transactions within the lookback period and if they find evidence of trying to shelter assets, you have to come up with those assets anyway. Frankies Girl's post has a link that explains it better, but that's the highlights.

And that's aside from if OP actually wants said property to begin with.

tomsang

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I must be slow as I don’t understand why everyone is against this so far. The rental covers the costs, you’re not on the hook and you have an asset if/when they die or don’t want to lose anymore. Not sure why this wouldn’t be like any other rental property except you won’t have a mortgage right? Is paid off? Weird.

Because the entire scheme is a minefield of tax, legal, and family dynamic issues. It's a hot mess. Run away!

What the OP is asking is can this situation work out?  If the parents bought it for $100k, then they could gift it to their kids and the basis would transfer to the kids.  If they would not be needing Medicade for a number of years, then the clawback may not be an issue.

If it was me I would look to determine if we could put something together.  It is a $100k.  It may not work out, but I would not throw away a $100k because it is not 100% clean or easy.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 08:01:12 PM by tomsang »

tomsang

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I must be slow as I don’t understand why everyone is against this so far. The rental covers the costs, you’re not on the hook and you have an asset if/when they die or don’t want to lose anymore. Not sure why this wouldn’t be like any other rental property except you won’t have a mortgage right? Is paid off? Weird.

If you're not the US, there's no way you'd know. If you're in the US, you'll need to know this at some point.

Medicaid has rules in place to prevent abuse by people with assets. Basically, if you give property or sell it for a token amount (not fair market value), then you later need Medicaid, the government will take a look at financial transactions within the lookback period and if they find evidence of trying to shelter assets, you have to come up with those assets anyway. Frankies Girl's post has a link that explains it better, but that's the highlights.

And that's aside from if OP actually wants said property to begin with.

According to the OP they are 70 years old and perfectly healthy.  I don't think you back away, just because of that.  Maybe other reasons.

Frankies Girl

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I must be slow as I don’t understand why everyone is against this so far. The rental covers the costs, you’re not on the hook and you have an asset if/when they die or don’t want to lose anymore. Not sure why this wouldn’t be like any other rental property except you won’t have a mortgage right? Is paid off? Weird.

The rental would likely not cover costs, at least, I very much doubt that 6 months a year would cover things like eventual roof replacement, condo fees, maintenance, utilities, property management and fixing all the little things that need fixing/replacing. If the OP has paperwork showing actual numbers run and is not just taking FIL's word for it, I would be VERY surprised. I have yet to read of any condo that doesn't have a mega assessment for like 20K at some point for things like roofing or plumbing or the like. Again, OP is taking FIL's word on what a great deal this is, the valuation, the cost of owning, the ability to rent... I seriously doubt things are as rosy as FIL paints it, never mind the obvious flaws in the whole thing (already gone over above but what the hell...).

The inlaws want to pretend to sell the property, shuffling off the maintenance/taxes, searching out and finding renters for short term leases (since the inlaws still want the use of said property several times a year meaning you can expect a higher amount of management, cleaning and furnishings replacement along with general wear and tear), cleaning fees, management fees, condo fees, replace the A/C, the roof, the carpet.... on the slim chance that the FIL won't end up needing to claw that condo back for his own upkeep at some later date (forcing them to sell it) and incurring a huge tax hit for selling a rental property (since they won't be living there, they'll have to claim it as income/profit).

And there is still a very strong chance that Medicaid will deny them or penalize them for trying to pull a not really legal asset switcheroo if anything happens within the lookback period.

I don't know maybe the OP and spouse are thrilled at the idea of being absentee landlords footing the entire bill for a property they'll have to still share with the FIL  and work around his whims on visitation and restrictions on rental time periods. But that sounds like hell to me.

And FIL is a spendthrift, so the chances of him not demanding the money for the condo at some point are slim. So no, there would likely not be any asset at all when FIL dies. Just a huge headache they'll have had to deal with so FIL gets to vacation in "his" condo without paying a single dime for it, gets the money back when (not if) he needs it.

I think that sounds horrible and pretty shady. Not sure why you think this is a good deal.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 09:15:02 PM by Frankies Girl »
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le-weekend

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Also, if either you or your sibling has spouses and get divorced, that property is now considered shared depending on your state's laws, in any case your mother has created several scary avenues that could endanger her possession of the property, and also killed off the stepped up cost (a HUGE benefit) by putting you both on the deed. I'd suggest contacting an estate lawyer to see what the options are and whether you can step this back at this point in time (if it is worth doing anyway). ALWAYS consult a lawyer when dealing with things like real property and transferring larger assets; there are so many ways to go wrong by accident.


https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/avoid-probate-book/chapter5-1.html
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-montalk-20160424-column.html

Thank you very much for this great info Frankies Girl! Hope I didn't hijack the thread too badly. The correlation in my mind was the way my mother's penny wise, pound foolish saving & investment habits cause so many disagreements in our family....

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I’d look hard at the insurance costs of a condo in Florida, and I’d see an estate lawyer.

If this was a house you wanted to keep in the family, that would be different, but it’s not a particularly good way to shelter an asset you don’t want to keep.

BuildingmyFIRE

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If you are seriously considering your FIL's offer, you need a lawyer.  I don't know FL law very well, but generally speaking there is a deed where he retains a life estate (Google "Lady Bird Deeds") and you get the property when he dies. 

That said, do not seriously consider your FIL's offer.  Say no, right now.

There is nothing altruistic about this offer.  Think about what he's really offering.  He wants to externalize the carrying costs of the property to you.  He gets to continue living there while you assume all of the risk of carrying a property. 

Putting aside the look back issue, think of the potential financial and familial "what-ifs."  What if, as he gets older, he becomes frail or disabled, but insists on continuing to live in the condo.  Are you prepared to retrofit it to accommodate him?  What if he stops taking care of the property as he gets older, as many older folks tend to do, resulting in (potentially uncovered) property damage to the unit or to adjoining units?  Are you prepared to evict your FIL or otherwise force him out of the condo if things start to go South (pun intended)? 

Are you prepared to pay to have the condo periodically closed up when hurricanes come?  To pay for natural disaster related property damage that isn't covered by insurance? 

Are you prepared to deal with the headache of renters who break stuff, steal stuff, or wont move out?  These are VERY real scenarios that you may be facing.  Your FIL knows this.
   
What if -- as Frankie's Girl mentioned -- there is a significant assessment? 

Now let's look at what you get out of the deal.  A place to periodically vacation, and an asset potentially worth $100,000 at some undetermined time in the future when your FIL passes.  If you ask me -- not worth it.  If your FIL was truly altruistic, he would suggest a Lady Bird deed without asking you to assume the carrying costs of the property.  But he hasn't.  The potential disasters would take a serious toll on your family.  Please don't do this. 

 

the_fixer

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Broke FIL wants to sell us his FL condo for $1 while he continues to use it.
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2018, 10:57:03 AM »
I had the unfortunate chance to sit down with an elder lawyer with my FIL when his wife was hospitalized and was going to need to be in a long term care facility last year.

Trying to figure out how to get her care and not have him lose every penny was a real eye opening experience.

I can understand where your FIL might be coming from as it can be tricky going on Medicaid and protecting what little assets someone might have and the earlier you plan the better.

If you are interested in the condo I would suggest that you and the FIL should meet with an elder lawyer to discuss the best way to go about it protecting both parties.


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« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 10:58:49 AM by the_fixer »

ReadySetMillionaire

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If you are genuinely thinking about doing this, this thread screams GET A LAWYER.  I'm a young attorney that dabbles in estate planning and this thread has my gears spinning at fifty different levels. Please pay a qualified and reputable attorney to go through all this, and to update your dad's estate planning documents. It's some of the best money you can possibly spend.

But to get into this a little bit...

Slightly related question -- my mother has put myself and my sister officially on the deed to her house so if she dies, it goes automatically into our names. Will we still have to pay capital gains tax?

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Yup. You lose stepped up cost when you're on the deed too. Depending on how much the house was when she purchased it vs how much it is valued, it could be a LARGE tax bill when she passes. Say she bought the house 20 years ago for $150K, but she passes away, it's now assessed at $350k... you would be looking at splitting the taxes on that $200K gain (unless you both moved in and made it your primary residence for something like 2 years? I'm fuzzy on the details of residency).

Whereas if she had just left it to you both in her will, the cost basis of the property would be from the day of her death. So if she passed on January 1, 2018, and you take possession of it (after waiting on the transfers and paperwork) on March 1st, you'd literally have no stepped up cost since the value of the property would be whatever it was assessed at on January 1st. So you'd get the property free and clear with the ability to sell it and only pay taxes on the amount it appreciated from the time of her death to the time it sold (or get a break if it depreciated).

What she should do is either a "transfer on death" if possible, or just leave the house to you and your sibling in her will. The transfer on death should avoid probate (this is commonly done on things like retirement accounts - named beneficiaries there transcend probate) but even if it goes into probate, it would retain the stepped up cost when you both take possession.

Also, if either you or your sibling has spouses and get divorced, that property is now considered shared depending on your state's laws, in any case your mother has created several scary avenues that could endanger her possession of the property, and also killed off the stepped up cost (a HUGE benefit) by putting you both on the deed. I'd suggest contacting an estate lawyer to see what the options are and whether you can step this back at this point in time (if it is worth doing anyway). ALWAYS consult a lawyer when dealing with things like real property and transferring larger assets; there are so many ways to go wrong by accident.

As always, I am not a professional anything, consult real people that may know what they're talking about before taking anything as truth on the interwebz... refer to the first part of my signature, etc... :)


https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/avoid-probate-book/chapter5-1.html
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-montalk-20160424-column.html

FG's post has some good points, but it also has a lot of points that are way too broad and overstated given the limited information provided.  I think the Medicaid/Medicare look-back points are a bit fear mongering (if something happens within the look-back period, you just transfer the original asset back to the original owner and disclose it as an asset). 

I also think the tax consequences are incredibly overstated (who cares if you have to pay a capital gains tax at a 16% marginal rate on a $200,000 gain when you got a $350,000 asset for $1?), but I'll leave those details to an accountant.

If you are seriously considering your FIL's offer, you need a lawyer.  I don't know FL law very well, but generally speaking there is a deed where he retains a life estate (Google "Lady Bird Deeds") and you get the property when he dies. 

That said, do not seriously consider your FIL's offer.  Say no, right now.

There is nothing altruistic about this offer.  Think about what he's really offering.  He wants to externalize the carrying costs of the property to you.  He gets to continue living there while you assume all of the risk of carrying a property. 

Putting aside the look back issue, think of the potential financial and familial "what-ifs."  What if, as he gets older, he becomes frail or disabled, but insists on continuing to live in the condo.  Are you prepared to retrofit it to accommodate him?  What if he stops taking care of the property as he gets older, as many older folks tend to do, resulting in (potentially uncovered) property damage to the unit or to adjoining units?  Are you prepared to evict your FIL or otherwise force him out of the condo if things start to go South (pun intended)? 

Are you prepared to pay to have the condo periodically closed up when hurricanes come?  To pay for natural disaster related property damage that isn't covered by insurance? 

Are you prepared to deal with the headache of renters who break stuff, steal stuff, or wont move out?  These are VERY real scenarios that you may be facing.  Your FIL knows this.
   
What if -- as Frankie's Girl mentioned -- there is a significant assessment? 

Now let's look at what you get out of the deal.  A place to periodically vacation, and an asset potentially worth $100,000 at some undetermined time in the future when your FIL passes.  If you ask me -- not worth it.  If your FIL was truly altruistic, he would suggest a Lady Bird deed without asking you to assume the carrying costs of the property.  But he hasn't.  The potential disasters would take a serious toll on your family.  Please don't do this. 

This post also raises some good points, but a savvy lawyer will be able to analyze all these potential pitfalls and get things in writing.  In my own practice, I just drafted a land contract to a son and had the mom retain a life estate, and the land contract also outlined a lot of the concerns you mentioned. This was done in conjunction with what we call a "Springing Power of Attorney" here in Ohio, which would address some of your competency concerns.

But anyway, and this is worth repeating, this thread screams "you need a lawyer." There are a variety of issues here of which we don't know about:

(1) Does Florida accept transfer on death deeds?

(2) Does Florida's Medicare/Medicaid system only "look back" to probated assets?

(3) What other assets does OP's father have that may pass outside of probate? Is this his biggest asset? Why is he so hellbent on shielding it from Medicare/Medicaid?

(4) Would Florida allow OP's father to sell the real estate via some sort of transfer and retain a life estate, and would this life estate be considered by Florida's Medicaid system as an asset?

(5) Perhaps most importantly, what do the condo's bylaws/declaration state about transfers/renting/etc.?

(6) What do the condominium documents state about not using the residence as your primary residence? I just reviewed a condo declaration this morning that clearly states that the persons on the deed must use the residence as their primary dwelling.  Is there some sort of similar covenant here?

Etc. etc.

Mind you these are just my thoughts while I sit here and eat some yogurt and almonds on my break. There's more to be dealt with here.  For a third time, I would recommend you see a lawyer. People hate us, but in the estate planning realm, a good lawyer will cost you a little bit and maybe save you in the hundreds of thousands. Good luck.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 11:03:24 AM by ReadySetMillionaire »
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If you want to attempt to protect from Medicaid, why not do a gift?  In my state, lookback is 5 years for medicaid.  If they need medicaid prior to that, I give the house back.  That's my state, not this one.

If your choice is losing step up basis versus giving the condo to medicaid, I'll give up step up basis.  That may or may not be the case, but it was in my situation.  If you do a gift at fair market value, basis will be lower of cost or market.

Get a quick consult with an attorney in the proper jurisdiction and give them all the facts and motivations behind the potential transaction.

JSMustachian

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All this sounds like is a complicated investment. If my family asked me to do this I would say NO!

Dicey

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One thing this thread screams is that you do NOT need a lawyer,  because this is a terrible horrible no good very bad idea! A little common fucking sense is all you need here and luckily, it is FREE.

Listen to Frankie. She's got most things right, even if RSM doesn't fully agree. It's okay if some points are "too broad and overstated", she's making a valid point and she's on the right track.

This is most definitely not a something-for-nothing deal. There are so many ways this is going to cost you. You will earn every cent and then some if you chose this path. Do you even want a vacation condo in FL that you don't fully control?

And nobody can predict the future. The continued health of a 70-year-old man with a history of bad decisions is certainly not something to rely upon. Even if you could undo this deal in the face of a Medicare clawback, it would would cost you time, money, and hassle. Plus you'd probably be out any and all monies you'd dumped into it in the interim. And then there's the likelihood of the IRS sniffing around...

NOT WORTH IT! (Shouting intentional.)
I did it! I have a journal!
A Lot Like This
And hell yes, I am still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams...

frugaliknowit

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Fagetaboudit!!

Too much has to go right and too much can go wrong.

Just say something like, "Appreciate the offer, but no thank you".  You don't need to explain.

jezebel

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I don't understand some of the reaction here.  Yes, get a lawyer and put everything in writing, but there are a lot of older parents that plan to have their children inherit their homes and decide it might be a good idea to sign it over before they pass.  It doesn't sound like the in-laws are trying scam them - they paid for the property and now they are offering to give it away.

The main question is whether the OP wants to own a vacation rental property in FL that cannot be rented for a certain period of the year.  I would say look at the math and decide whether it's worth the headache.  Having faced a similar proposal (without even having to pay taxes and fees), I decided that it was not for me.

Heywood57

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Wouldn't putting the condo into a trust with the OP as a beneficiary
solve the issues without subjecting the OP to a long list of potential issues.

hoping2retire35

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Slightly related question -- my mother has put myself and my sister officially on the deed to her house so if she dies, it goes automatically into our names. Will we still have to pay capital gains tax?

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Yup. You lose stepped up cost when you're on the deed too. Depending on how much the house was when she purchased it vs how much it is valued, it could be a LARGE tax bill when she passes. Say she bought the house 20 years ago for $150K, but she passes away, it's now assessed at $350k... you would be looking at splitting the taxes on that $200K gain (unless you both moved in and made it your primary residence for something like 2 years? I'm fuzzy on the details of residency).


Just to confirm this is only a problem when it is sold, yes?

So if your greatgrandpa buys 80 acres for $600 dollars and 100 years later you inherit it and sell it for $400k then your basis is $399,400; but not until you decide to sell it. Until you sell and you just keep farming or whatever there is no capital gains obligation.

We live in a house as joint survivors, owned with her parents(they don't live there), so I try to stay up on this stuff.

Midwest

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Wouldn't putting the condo into a trust with the OP as a beneficiary
solve the issues without subjecting the OP to a long list of potential issues.

An irrevocable trust?  I'm not an attorney, but I believe the gift has to be irrevocable so either an outright gift or the real estate placed in an irrevocable trust.

Two things -

1) On the step up basis and medicaid.  Many people gifting assets away don't have any other significant assets besides a home.  If the house is gifted away, yes you lose step up which costs additional tax on sale.

However, if mom and dad end up in a nursing home with no assets besides the house, Medicaid will take the house.  At that point, step us is kind of irrelevant.

Given the choice between, many people decide that potentially protecting the asset from Medicaid is more important than saving some tax in the event the parents don't need a nursing home.

Again consult an attorney, but FG's article references a cure to the medicaid issue of "give the asset back" if the lookback period isn't tolled when medicaid is needed.

2) Selling the house for $1 is silly.  Gifts are allowed.  Unless the parents are worth more than $10M or anticipate being so at death, there is no impact on their estate tax in making a gift.  Make a gift and file the gift return.  It's not rocket science or tax evasion.  It's a gift.

The downside issue I see, is that you can't sell until they die (or at least that's how you have explained).  You would need to carefully consider the cash flows due to that and/or discuss further with the parents.

The reason RSM and others are telling the OP to consult an attorney is because it might be worth getting a little professional advice to potentially receive a six figure asset.

sokoloff

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Condo is worth $100K
You buy it from FIL for $1
You now owe $99,999K in profit for the killer deal you just made on this purchase. Which is sucky.
The condo (or 99.999% thereof) can be gifted from your uncle and his wife to you and your wife at a rate of $60K per year ($15K from each of your uncle and his wife to you and the same amount from each of them to your wife). If he'd gotten his shit together in December, they could have gifted it all to you two in December and January.

The rest of the post I largely agree with and this is a probable no-go for me, but using the above strategy, you can arrange to receive the property as a gift with current basis rather than a $1 basis. (I'm like 99% sure.)

Midwest

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Condo is worth $100K
You buy it from FIL for $1
You now owe $99,999K in profit for the killer deal you just made on this purchase. Which is sucky.
The condo (or 99.999% thereof) can be gifted from your uncle and his wife to you and your wife at a rate of $60K per year ($15K from each of your uncle and his wife to you and the same amount from each of them to your wife). If he'd gotten his shit together in December, they could have gifted it all to you two in December and January.

The rest of the post I largely agree with and this is a probable no-go for me, but using the above strategy, you can arrange to receive the property as a gift with current basis rather than a $1 basis. (I'm like 99% sure.)

Unless mom/dad is worth $10M or more, you don't need to go through the $15k per year dance.  If trying to avoid medicaid, you want to get the clock running.

Midwest

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Slightly related question -- my mother has put myself and my sister officially on the deed to her house so if she dies, it goes automatically into our names. Will we still have to pay capital gains tax?

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

Yup. You lose stepped up cost when you're on the deed too. Depending on how much the house was when she purchased it vs how much it is valued, it could be a LARGE tax bill when she passes. Say she bought the house 20 years ago for $150K, but she passes away, it's now assessed at $350k... you would be looking at splitting the taxes on that $200K gain (unless you both moved in and made it your primary residence for something like 2 years? I'm fuzzy on the details of residency).


Just to confirm this is only a problem when it is sold, yes?

So if your greatgrandpa buys 80 acres for $600 dollars and 100 years later you inherit it and sell it for $400k then your basis is $399,400; but not until you decide to sell it. Until you sell and you just keep farming or whatever there is no capital gains obligation.

We live in a house as joint survivors, owned with her parents(they don't live there), so I try to stay up on this stuff.

Capital gains are only a problem when the property is sold.  yes. 

In your example above, if grandpa gifted you the property prior to death your basis is $600.  If you receive at death, your basis would be $400k and no taxes would be due if you sell it for $400k. 

If however, you are worried about gramps going into the nursing home, you might be willing to take the tax hit to keep the 80 acres and a mule away from medicaid.

If her parents are on the house you live in, it could be subject to the medicaid rules if/when they end up in a nursing home.  That's an issue you might want to investigate if you plan on keeping the house when they die.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 03:36:34 PM by Midwest »

GreenEggs

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I would talk to an estate attorney.  It's only $100K, so I'd think it could likely be gifted to OP and Mate by the FIL & MIL as 2 years of gifting.  The limit is $15K per person from both the MIL & FIL, so they can give $60K per year to a couple.

Sure, there will be "strings attached", but that's what "family" means, right?  You'll probably need to help them as they age regardless of what you decide about the condo.

Btw, the attorney above said, "everybody hates lawyers".  We all know what he means.  But, my family has been fortunate and found some very good attorneys that have been a pleasure to work with, and have saved us enough for a Mushachian to retire on.  :) 

Also, $100K covers my dad's nursing home bill for 12 months.  That's what concerns the OP's FIL. 

Midwest

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I would talk to an estate attorney.  It's only $100K, so I'd think it could likely be gifted to OP and Mate by the FIL & MIL as 2 years of gifting.  The limit is $15K per person from both the MIL & FIL, so they can give $60K per year to a couple.

Sure, there will be "strings attached", but that's what "family" means, right?  You'll probably need to help them as they age regardless of what you decide about the condo.

Btw, the attorney above said, "everybody hates lawyers".  We all know what he means.  But, my family has been fortunate and found some very good attorneys that have been a pleasure to work with, and have saved us enough for a Mushachian to retire on.  :) 

Also, $100K covers my dad's nursing home bill for 12 months.  That's what concerns the OP's FIL.

They can gift $60k per year as a couple without using up their gift exclusion.  Unless your estate is more than $10M, the exclusion is irrelevant. 

GreenEggs

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I would talk to an estate attorney.  It's only $100K, so I'd think it could likely be gifted to OP and Mate by the FIL & MIL as 2 years of gifting.  The limit is $15K per person from both the MIL & FIL, so they can give $60K per year to a couple.

Sure, there will be "strings attached", but that's what "family" means, right?  You'll probably need to help them as they age regardless of what you decide about the condo.

Btw, the attorney above said, "everybody hates lawyers".  We all know what he means.  But, my family has been fortunate and found some very good attorneys that have been a pleasure to work with, and have saved us enough for a Mushachian to retire on.  :) 

Also, $100K covers my dad's nursing home bill for 12 months.  That's what concerns the OP's FIL.

They can gift $60k per year as a couple without using up their gift exclusion.  Unless your estate is more than $10M, the exclusion is irrelevant.

You're correct.  I was typing without thinking...again.  ;)

champion

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Thank you everyone for the great feedback!  Dang this is a good forum!  Long live Mustachianism!

I am leaning toward saying no.  Here's my thinking, thanks to all your excellent input. 

I think what it really comes down to is that the costs (taxes, insurance, condo fees, maintenance, cleaning) and hassles (remote landlording) and risks (e.g. a big unexpected assessment) would be transferred to my wife and me long before the asset itself is actually transferred to us. 

If, God forbid, her father died today and we inherited it, we'd probably sell the condo immediately to pay off my wife's student loans.  But in this FIL-proposed scenario, we wouldn't be free to sell it and use the proceeds.  We'd be getting liabilities but not a fully-controlled asset (yet). 

I also have to compare the benefits to the next best scenario.  My FIL plans to leave the condo to my wife anyway when he dies.  So it's not really the case that we get an incremental $100,000 for taking on landlord duties and costs.  Actually, the net benefits are just a reduced risk of the value being eaten up by FIL's late-in-life possible nursing home expenses. 

And we're only protecting against that one category of expenses:  Medicaid-funded nursing home expenses.  But he hasn't made any provision for other expenses either.  So he might come with a sob story and ask for the condo value back.  To cover in-home care (not covered by Medicare) or even just other normal living expenses.  It seems like we're walking a tightrope where he would get rid of his main asset to qualify for Medicaid if needed, but in doing so make himself even more financially vulnerable. 

To make up some numbers, let's say there's a 33% chance of A) he needs Medicaid-covered nursing home care, a 33% chance of B) he needs the money for something else, and a 33% chance of C) he does fine, never needs the money and never needs nursing home care either. 

In scenario A), the scheme worked.  We saved the condo that otherwise would have been lost.  We saved $100,000 by expending X amount of money and effort over the years.  In scenario B) all our hassles and expenses will have been for nothing.  We will be out X amount of money and effort with nothing to show for it.  In Scenario C), we will have the condo, but we would have gotten it anyway if we had said no to becoming landlords. 

If I assume that X is $25,000 in total headaches over the years (an optimistic assumption), I have a 33% chance of getting +$75,000 in value (call it $60,000 to account for the loss of the tax advantage of the step up in basis), a 33% chance at negative $25,000 for all the spending/hassles but no condo, and a 33% at a net negative 25,000 in value for all the spending/hassles to get the condo we would have gotten in the end anyway.  The expected value of taking over the condo now under these assumptions is effectively zero. 

But what really seals the deal and makes me want to say no is the family dynamics.  Zamboni said, "he gets you to feel beholden to him for now for the "gift."  This is the clincher.  I have always been worried about this guy as a potential liability.  He's not prepared for old age, he has terrible spending habits, debts, and no money, and he knows how to pull my wife's heartstrings.  When my wife told me about his offer last week, my reaction was lukewarm and mildly skeptical, and she was hurt:  "he's trying to do a nice thing for us." 

The reality is that people who enter their 70s with zero savings and significant consumer debt aren't likely to leave inheritances to their children.  But if he makes it seem like he has just magnanimously given my wife $100,000 in value, her resolve will weaken when it comes to our agreement (with each other) not to bail him out later.  (Our agreement is that we'll never let anyone starve or go homeless, but we've agreed not to ever write bailout checks or lifestyle preserving checks to relatives.) 

So on some level, this isn't just an attempt by FIL to offload his vacation home hassles, it's also a (subconscious?) attempt to curry favor as he stares down some inevitable standard of living reductions over the next few decades.  I've seen other examples of this kind of thing from some older people.  Sometimes they get an urge to tell their descendants about inheritances they plan to leave.  "Oh, sweetie, I want you to have my silver set."  It's like a (subconscious?) attempt to seem generous, keep the younger generation interested and visiting, etc.  It's a bit sad, but it kind of works. 

So, while I'm happy to celebrate FILs generous urges, it's really not true that he has $100,000 he can afford to give.  He will probably need it. 

So I'd rather he not use his primary asset passive-aggressively as a "gift" that will make my wife feel that she "owes" him. 

And the silver lining of this whole offer is that it gives us an opportunity to say "No, we don't want to partner with you at our expense in your financial planning schemes" NOW, while he's still healthy and while he's made an offer with some obvious downsides.  This will be emotionally easier than saying, for example, "No we can't help you with those unpaid medical bills" 10 years from now.  And it will perhaps set expectations productively.  Which I haven't done previously because he's never asked for money and I've been afraid to put that strain on the relationship and it wouldn't change his behavior anyway.  But it would be nice to now set the precedent that we are not willing to partner with him in financial planning schemes.   

So my dream scenario at this point would be to gently communicate at least some of the following:

- An expression of gratitude for the generosity intended by the offer
- An acknowledgement/statement that financial planning is challenging when resources are limited and government benefits may be needed
- A reminder that his daughter (and I) are still burdened by her large student loans and aren't likely to have extra cash or time for this type of thing in the foreseeable future.  (And an implied and very gentle reminder that my wife's debt means he's really asking ME to take on these financial liabilities.)
- A firm thank you but no.  We think it's great he wants to give her something of value, and he can do it now or later, but we aren't able to take on any liabilities or enter into any time-consuming schemes.
- And a gentle suggestion that he go get some general financial planning advice about general prep for getting older:  the overall picture of assets, liabilities, income, and expenses, etc.  (His urge to plan is great, but he started out focused on a very specific estate-planning tactic when he really should be asking himself more basic questions.  (Like whether deciding to work half-time instead of full-time is a good idea while carrying consumer debt.)) 

What do you all think?  Does this sound like the right conclusion? 

And how do you like my idea of using this as a good opportunity to make the existence of financial boundaries a little more explicit?  Any thoughts on finessing that? 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 04:52:51 PM by champion »

the_fixer

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Sounds good, it will likely be hard on your wife so make sure she is 100%on board and happy.

We have told my FIL the same thing, he has told us that he is planning to leave us money / property and we have both told him that we would rather see him enjoy his money and time.

We are being genuine and truly hope to see him enjoy what little he has but at the same time it also kind of draws a line in the sand that he should be worrying about himself and not us.

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Finances_With_Purpose

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Sounds like a great plan.  Agree completely w/ the poster above: be sure wife is on board, as this may be tough.

You're wise to see the relationship issues it can cause.  And that it could be a ploy.  If that's even a remote concern, I would walk away.  Besides, Medicaid looks backward for 5 years anyway, I think (or some number of years), not counting the tax issues and ongoing accounting hassle. 

Maybe I missed something when reading, but there's also a chance, I think, he could basically look at you to be his permanent, rent-free landlord if you took the asset.  He could run up expenses on it, and the only solution you would have would be to evict the guy who gave it to you.  That would look and feel (!!!) awful even if it were healthy and necessary because he was basically transferring his living costs over to you indefinitely. 

If it were me, I would assume, even if I did it, (in your situation) that I was basically holding the value of the asset in trust for him, and willing to give him all of the value back.  But that, too, creates (1) accounting headaches, (2) possibly timing headaches, and (3) the potential for hurt feelings and relationship problems if he thinks you've mismanaged things when really you've been having to cover his expenses (for the real estate) out of the value of the asset, such as covering closing costs when selling it.  It's more than most people can deal with, especially if it's someone who isn't managing his finances well already. 

I know people I *would* trust to do such a deal with, but it would have to be complete financial trust, and that is rare.  This deal could go very badly in many ways, but the upside (for everyone, not just you) is extremely limited. 

I think you're wise to turn it down - and turn it down gently. 

GoConfidently

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I think your plan sounds good, but I would encourage you to keep it as short as possible. More words mean more room for negotiation.

Also it may be helpful to do a little prying on the side. Older people sometimes feel the need to do this kind of offloading when they’re too scared or embarrassed to talk about bigger problems: can’t afford the vacation home anymore, got a bad diagnosis, etc. His sudden urge to protect an asset may be a symptom of a bigger problem.

jezebel

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I think your plan sounds good, but I would encourage you to keep it as short as possible. More words mean more room for negotiation.

Also it may be helpful to do a little prying on the side. Older people sometimes feel the need to do this kind of offloading when they’re too scared or embarrassed to talk about bigger problems: can’t afford the vacation home anymore, got a bad diagnosis, etc. His sudden urge to protect an asset may be a symptom of a bigger problem.

I think I'd wait to pry until this issue is put to bed.  You don't want emotion or guilt to take over your decision.

partgypsy

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I agree that this is not a good deal for you, and there is either manipulation or denial going on with FIL with this deal (and maybe with your wife) It sounds like honestly, he can't afford the condo but doesn't want to give it up. If he lives above his means there is a strong possibility that medical costs towards the end of life (either him or his wife) will use up all his assets. Oh that's right, he didn't save anything for retirement. So he is pretending to himself that he is rich enough to gift your wife a condo, when that's not the reality. If he was well off enough, he would gift it to you, and you could sell it, do whatever you wanted with it to truly help yourself. Or gift you some smaller amount of assets. But that's not what the deal is. For me the dealbreaker is, is not only is it only a deal if you eventually get to sell the condo, I imagine he will use the obligation that he "gave" you the condo (forgetting all the strings attached and his free vacations) mentally in his mind will feel you owe him an equivalent 100K in assistance. I wouldn't want to live under that obligation. Just hopefully your wife will understand, that your FIL is not really in a situation to leave an inheritance, and just figure out what your boundaries are for helping him down the road.

otoh I would only do it, if you were cold blooded and after he sells it to you, you sell it after a couple years. Hey what's he going to do? He sold it lol 
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 08:11:40 AM by partgypsy »

partgypsy

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yes on 2nd thought do it, then sell the condo, and use that money to help FIL.
To remind you something you wrote in 2012:
"
Here's one situation. My father in law has significant debts and no savings. He's always had a decent income, top 25% of Americans or so, but he has consistently lived beyond his means and just never saved a dime, and racked up lots of debt along the way. He's a big spender type--driving a (leased) SUV makes him feel special, for example. He's deep enough in the hole at his current age of 65 that he'll never be able to accumulate any retirement savings, even if he dramatically and voluntarily changes his lifestyle, which is unlikely.

So, I worry that he will come to me and my wife at some point and say, hey, I need money. By the time he realizes how little resources he has, he may find it very difficult to generate any income himself. We'll have assets and capacity for income producing employment, and he'll know it. My wife (who is incredibly close to her father) will find it very difficult to see him suffer in any way--she'll want us to give him money. And if he needs some money for bills or medical care or even for a trip to see his grandkids or something, it will be hard for her to see his needs and our accumulated savings and not want to just hand over chunks of money.

This is all upsetting to me. I feel like I have a huge looming liability. He's still healthy and making a decent income.  I resent the idea of being the ant to his grasshopper. I feel guilty and selfish for thinking this way. But the guy is a financial train wreck. I would never directly marry a person like him. And yet, I fear that his financial problems will be a part of my life, one way or another. The biggest problem is that it interferes with my ability to feel in control of my own saving and financial planning. If I moderate my own lifestyle to save money, and the result is a pile of money that I will be considered heartless not to share with my bad-with-money father-in-law, it makes the saving a lot less fun." 

BTDretire

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 I don't know where FIL lives now, but what happens if he's 78 and decides the winters are just to cold and he spends 4 months in the condo, and then next year, 4 months turns into, I think I'll just stay in Fl. it's just to hard to move?
 And when FIL dies, does stepmom want to live in Fl?
 Do you just kick her out?
 To many potential problems.
 I would not do it.

 As I sit here with 1/2 of mom's house, my sister with very low income living in house paying no rent. This is going on 6 years since mom died.
 If I would have forced a sale, my money in VTSAX would have doubled, instead the house has just deteriorated, maybe gained 20%, maybe.
 Stay away from this, ahem deal!

champion

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Thanks for reminding me of my old post, partygypsy.  Here I am 5 years later still worrying about the same things! 

I think partygypsy is kind of joking about me taking the condo, selling it, and reserving that money to help FIL with.  I think I'd rather use this opportunity to give him the first of many "No" answers.  On the other hand, my "No" now won't lead to him being better with money nor will it make him too shy to ask later if he feels desperate.  if I won't be able to avoid spending $100K on his upkeep at some point to keep the peace with my wife, maybe I should snatch that $100K now while it's being offered!  We could think of it as forced saving for him! 

But still, what a pain it could be.  If we sold the condo without his permission, the relationship would suffer. And by accepting it at all, we are entering into his mental frame:  that he generously "gave" us something, that we now "owe" him, that it is appropriate for us to spend time and money on the financial schemes of a spendthrift, etc. 

I suppose I could say that we accept the gift of the condo only under the condition that we can immediately sell it. 

If his goals are some combination of leaving his daughter an inheritance, qualifying for Medicaid, and making us feel like we owe him, he can achieve all of that by giving it to us unconditionally for us to sell.  (And we could accept the gift, be very grateful, but mentally reserve the sale proceeds of ~$100K (and no more) to "pay him back" should it be necessary.)

If, on the other hand, his more important goals are to continue vacationing there and to keep it in the family as long as possible, then he should keep the condo and keep for himself the expenses, hassles, and risks of losing it to Medicaid.

That would be a pretty reasonable position for us to take.  We'd be saying that we're happy to accept a gift or not, but that we'd have to say a polite no thank you to any schemes where we spend time and effort and money on his vacation place. 

Would this make sense? 

Or would even accepting this be getting mixed up in a situation we don't want to be in? 



« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 10:50:02 AM by champion »

Sibley

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If he gifts it to you and you turn around and sell it, that's fine. But make sure you and your wife are on the same page.

And don't forget that things such as social security, subsidized housing, food stamps, meals on wheels, etc exist. If he runs out of money, he can live on those. There are plenty of people who do. It's not inappropriate for him to live within his means, and if he doesn't like that lifestyle, well, he only has himself to blame.

Finances_With_Purpose

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I wouldn't take a gift of that sort from someone when you know he isn't in a position to really offer you that kind of gift. 

It isn't really a gift. 

Plus, you already have a history (apparently a long one) of these types of concerns, which further implies it's not a gift - it has emotional strings and possibly later demands attached. 

Labels are far less important than the substance.  He may call it a gift, but unless it's something he never, ever, wants back, it's not a gift anymore than the "gift" a friend once made of an original signed book I loaned him.  (I didn't mind never getting it back, or I wouldn't have loaned it, but it wasn't a gift either.) 

From your posts, you state that your wife struggles to put up boundaries with her dad.  That's what anchors you to this situation in the first place.  She'll want to subsidize his bad behavior with money.  (And as economists put it: what do you get when you subsidize something?  More of it.) 

So no, I would never offer to take on a large financial transaction with someone who manages money poorly where there are relationship consequences and you already know that.  Plus, you know there are big boundaries problems. 

I didn't recommend this initially, but in light of your follow-up questions, I am going to strongly recommend the following book: Boundaries.  You may already know a lot of what's in there, but it's helpful to read and learn a little more, and it's helpful by way of reminder as you're in the midst of a situation where you may be dealing with close relatives who aren't good at setting helpful and healthy boundaries.  The subtitle of the book shows why it's valuable: "When to say yes, how to say no to take control of your life." 

You wouldn't get deeply financially involved (or in business) with someone who has big spending and debt management problems - someone who doesn't manage finances well.  If you do it with family, it isn't easier - it's harder

You are wise to walk away.  And without offering some option under which you can become financially entangled. 

Zamboni

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For conversations with your wife:
Stick with "It was nice that he thought of you, and I like your Dad, but this just isn't going to work for me. If he presses on it, please let's encourage him to keep his assets!"

Save as a follow ups:
"As I said,definitely no, thank you."
"If you insist on buying this from him or he insists on gifting it to us, then we would definitely have to sell it immediately whether he wants us to or not. I think that would upset your Dad a lot, and I don't want that, so this whole idea with the condo just isn't going to work for us."
"We've discussed this before, and the answer is still no. This plan just isn't going to work for me."

You could print and show her this thread . . .

I wouldn't pry into his other information. Just decline his overtures in this matter as many times as necessary.

StressExpress

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Been here lurking for years and rarely post, but i have a similar situation and this thread surprises me a lot so thought i would contribute.

It is likely important to your FIL to leave something to his daughter (pride) and doesn't want to see it taken by Medicare.  Rest assured if he needs long term care in Medicare they will take the asset unless you get it out of their name for longer than the clawback period (which i believe is 5 years).  I realize you may not need the money but it would likely be extremely depressing for him to know he died broke with nothing for his family.

In terms of the transaction:
- I would evaluate it based on the asset as a rental.  (FREE property, rental income/expenses, and 3-4 vacation weeks for FIL)
- Put an agreement in place about amount of time for FIL usage and notification/timing/etc - whatever makes you comfortable and have him sign it.
- Tax implications are minimal as others have mentioned unless they have a estate over 10M  (you can evaluate cost basis but even that's a small concern at this level as its paid out of sales profit on zero cost)
- Evaluate with Laywer or Accountant if needed

In my opinion, there is no more risk here than any other rental and much more upside with no acquisition costs. 

If the transaction makes sense, then I would evaluate the family dynamic and what you are comfortable with (only you and your wife can decide on this):
- importance to your wife
- concerns about time required for management and impact to family dynamic
- concerns about future issues with changing circumstances with FIL
- etc..

For me, similar situation with similar dollar amounts - I am going to do this without question because:
1.  It provides peace and pride to the family member for passing down a perceived 'inheritance'
2.  The transaction makes sense on its own merit and I already manage rentals
3.  My family dynamic will not be impacted from a relationship standpoint.

- I see this as a no brainer, but obviously always lots of variables with family relationships and transaction specifics.

Best of Luck to you!

Roadrunner53

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I think he means well but it seems like it is something that will require work you are not interested in plus the Medicaid issues down the road if they do the 5 or 7 year look back.

If he is willing to sell it and give you the cash, see an elder lawyer in case of Medicaid look back issues.

Someone mentioned special assessments which happens all the time when roofs, pools, roads and other updating issues arise. Definitely add that to your investigation should you decide to take this on. I previously owned timeshares and they were always hitting us with special assessments. You have no choice to fork over the money if you are an owner.

Not sure I would do this if it were me. Maybe you could look into having your FIL put your wife on the deed as Co Owner and you too so if there is a Medicaid issue maybe they would only be able to put a lein on 1/3 the value of the condo. Another thing to see a lawyer about.


BTDretire

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 As my wife and I have come to realize regarding family, it is much better to say no and have them mad at us, then to say yes and then be mad youself because did it and also be mad because they aren't paying you back.