What Happens to My Property If I Move to a Nursing Home?

Many seniors imagine living out their golden years aging in place. However, this cannot be the case for all senior citizens. Many seniors are unable to live independently or require consistent care from a nurse in their later years. When this happens, seniors and their families begin to look into nursing homes. But you may be wondering, “What happens to my property if I move to a nursing home?”

Moving out of your home that you have likely created millions of memories in is emotional but holding on to your property when moving to a nursing home could cost you more money, such as paying property taxes. Luckily, you and your property have some options.

You can pass down your property

When you and your family have created unforgettable memories inside a home, it will not be easy getting rid of your property. However, you can sit down with your family and discuss the option of passing down your property when you move to a nursing home. Find out if this is something a family member would be interested in and what their expectations are.

Once it is confirmed you will pass down your property to a family member, you should begin creating an estate plan to ensure your property is passed down correctly. There are a couple of ways you can pass down your property, such as gifting or selling it.

When you decide to transfer your property to a family member, you must obtain a quitclaim deed. You can either reach out to an attorney or use an online legal service to help prepare the needed documents.

Take note that some states require a real estate transfer tax, which would be assessed when the deed is finalized. However, some states do offer a tax exemption for property transfers when it’s through the family. If you plan on gifting your home, be prepared for a gift tax on your federal income taxes.

Turn your property into a rental

Another idea to consider when moving to a nursing home is turning your property into a rental. First, ask a family member or friend if they would be interested in taking on the role of being a landlord for your property. If one were to say yes to taking on this role, you could begin looking into what needs to be done next.

There are many moving parts in turning your property into a rental, such as obtaining landlord insurance, permits and repairing any fixtures, walls or cabinets that need touching up. Your property could be turned into a vacation rental, such as an AIRBNB, or rented out to tenants.

If you have family or friends willing to take on this responsibility, it could potentially bring in a substantial amount of revenue that could benefit both of you.

Put property up for sale

If passing down your property or turning it into a rental isn’t an option, you can always sell your property. Selling property does not always come easy. Therefore, you will want to hire a real estate agent to take care of all the busy, complex parts for you.

An experienced real estate agent will help market the property, review offers, and help prep the property for tours. Real estate agents help expose your property to the right audience and negotiate pricing on your behalf. If you were to put your property up for sale without an agent, you would do this all on your own.

Donate or sell your belongings

You can most certainly sell or rent out your home, but you must also do something with your personal belongings. As a senior, you have likely collected an abundance of memorabilia throughout your lifetime. Before you move to a nursing home, you must sort through your items to see what you want to keep or get rid of.

Getting rid of your belongings is an emotional rollercoaster, but it is something that must be done. Invite your family over to help you sort through the things you wish to keep, sell, or donate. You can also see if your family would like to store any of your sentimental items. Nursing homes typically do not have a lot of storage space, so you must keep the things that mean most to you.

Consider having a garage sale or listing your items to Craigslist to see if you can find any buyers. You can also drop your items off at Goodwill or Salvation Army to donate to those in need. You may find along the way you had many unneeded items maybe someone else can enjoy.

Moving to a nursing home can an emotional time for both you and your family, but it doesn’t have to be a time of distress. Before you move to a nursing home, know that you have options to either pass down, rent or sell your property.