Can your leave your home in a 55+ community to your loved ones?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2020 | Estate Planning

Many people choose to downsize to a smaller, easier-to-manage home once their children are grown and on their own. Residential areas known as 55+ communities have become very popular for those who haven’t yet reached the age where they need to be in assisted living but would like to live in an area with others their own age that is free from noisy children and teens. 

The Las Vegas area has a number of 55+ communities. These communities often offer attractive amenities like golf courses, gyms and hiking trails. Many provide basic home maintenance services like lawn mowing. 

If you’re planning to leave your home to one of your children or other family members in your will, however, there can be complications. Read the fine print on your homeowners’ association (HOA) documents regarding people living there who are under 55.

Does your community follow the 80/20 rule?

Most of these communities follow an 80/20 rule. That means that 80% of the homes must be occupied by people 55 and over. If that’s the case, younger family members may be able to inherit and move into the home after you’re gone if the community hasn’t reached the 20% maximum. 

It’s important to find out whether your community follows that rule. Some senior communities require all residents to be at least 55. Anyone under that age who inherits a home there must sell it.

Note any restrictions regarding children and teens

Another possible restriction that can make it difficult to leave your home to someone is a minimum age requirement. Many of these communities won’t allow anyone under 18 (or in some cases 21) to live there. If you’re considering leaving your home to your adult children, they might not be able to live there if they have children. If the community does allow children and teens, there may be restrictions on what amenities they can use. For example, they might not be able to use the pool or gym because they can create more insurance liability.

Before you leave your home in a 55+ community to a loved one in your will, it’s essential to find out about these restrictions. It’s also wise to find out if your loved ones would even be interested in living there if they could. A nice, quiet neighborhood might seem appealing to young adults while their visiting their parents for a day or a weekend. However, they might not enjoy living around much older people day in and day out. That doesn’t mean you can’t leave them the home to sell and keep the proceeds. 

When considering what to do about your home in your estate plan, your attorney can provide valuable guidance that will make things easier on your loved ones after you’re gone.