Estate Planning: Stepfather Living in House After Mother’s Death

Philadelphia, PA – A woman in a second marriage is seeking advice on how to ensure that her son inherits her estate while also providing for her current husband. She purchased and maintains a home with her separate property and wants her husband to live in it until his death, at which point she wishes for the house to be passed on to her son. However, she is concerned about potential complications and wants to avoid her husband leaving the house to a future spouse.

The woman is looking for guidance on whether the house would be considered an inheritance for her son, and if it would have a step-up in cost basis. She is also contemplating the implications if her husband decides to move out of the house to another state or chooses to rent it out for income. The woman wants to make provision in her trust to address these potential situations.

The writer of the letter is advised to prioritize her goals for estate planning and consider potential changes in relationships and circumstances. While she wants her husband to have a financially independent life after her passing, she is cautioned against allowing him to have the option to live in the house and sell it at a later time. The complexity of the situation is emphasized, and the writer is encouraged to seek legal advice to address her concerns.

In addition to the specific scenario, the writer is provided with information about the implications of leaving the house to her husband and the possible step-up in basis. The advice stresses the importance of creating a rock-solid estate plan that leaves no room for maneuver.

Finally, the letter writer is reminded of the complexity of the situation and is encouraged to seek professional guidance to ensure that her wishes are clearly addressed in her estate plan.