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Attorneys

Ask the Experts: Boyfriend Wants to Leave Half of Vacation Home to His Son

July 20 2012

This week, Sacramento estate planning attorney Kay Brooks answers readers questions in the Sacramento Bee column “Ask the Experts.”

Q: My boyfriend and I recently purchased a vacation home. For now, the title is held in joint tenancy because we could not come to an agreement as to what would be the fairest thing to do if one of us should die. We both have living trusts set up where each of our assets are transferred into upon death. The problem is that my boyfriend wants his son to inherit his half of the property after he dies.

I see potential problems in having to share ownership with his son. What if something happens to him and he needs money? Can he force me to sell the house or buy him out? I don’t think it’s fair to me that the son would be entitled to assets from the property just because he is kin. I would be the one paying the mortgage and keeping up with the maintenance. I am fine with leaving my half to my boyfriend, but he wants to revisit the lawyer in a few years and change the trusts so that his son has a stake in the house.

Can you offer any solutions so that both parties are satisfied? I should mention that the son is currently 17 years old and my boyfriend is 20 years my senior. Thank you for your time.

To read Kay Brooks answer, visit the Ask the Expert column here on the Sacbee.com