Gabe Bodner, Gabe Bodner of The Bodner Team

Gabe Bodner

Have you ever wondered if your children or heirs will fight or argue over your house and your assets after you pass away? You are not alone. Many older homeowners have the same worry and that is why having a written plan for what you want to happen when you are gone is so important. This “plan” will outline your wishes and is generally in the form of a Will or a Living Trust. I am not an estate planning attorney; therefore, I highly recommend to all of my clients that you speak with an estate planning attorney to document your plan and wishes in some form or fashion. At the end of the day, if your wishes are not written down, then how will anyone know what you want and where you want your assets to go someday? Do you want the state or a court to decide for you? 

As it relates to mortgage planning and how you use your home equity in retirement, I also believe that it is extremely important to include family and heirs in the discussions to ensure transparency of your goals and your wishes. The last thing that anyone wants to see occur is a fight between family members because the heirs feel someone was taken advantage of or left out in the planning process. Including your heirs will also help to provide safeguards and provide clarity on how your plan may impact your family and heir’s future inheritance. 

Here are 3 top reasons to include your family and/or heirs in your reverse mortgage conversations:

Avoid unnecessary surprises
If you do not inform your heirs as to your plan and wishes, it is very possible that they will be surprised and possibly even hold resentment toward you after you are gone. If you are worried about how your heirs are going to react to your wishes, you should let them know sooner rather than later and address any concerns now while you can. Do not bury your head in the sand and ignore these very important discussions. 

Reduce or eliminate inter-family arguments and fighting
If you do not include or inform your heirs of your plan and wishes, your heirs will likely argue over what they feel is “fair”. It is also possible that your family will point fingers and blame one another for your decisions. I am not here to say that there will not be any arguments, but I am quite confident that if your heirs know and understand your plan and are involved in the discussions, there will certainly be less to argue over.

It will become their responsibility
At the end of the day, your heirs will be the ones who have the ultimate responsibility to handle your affairs as you wish. Why would you not want people to know in advance what your wishes are so that they can ask questions and you can provide absolute clarity and certainty to what you want to occur? Again, if it is their responsibility to sell your home and distribute the equity in your home based on your wishes, they should know in advance that this is your wish, and they will ultimately need to carry out the plan once you are gone.  

Overall, including family in the discussion fosters trust, minimizes surprises, and allows for a comprehensive plan that considers everyone’s needs and concerns, promoting a smoother transition of assets and responsibilities.

By Gabe Bodner. Gabe is a retirement mortgage planner and licensed mortgage originator in Colorado. Gabe utilizes the latest research from the top researchers to assist his clients in living for today and  planning for tomorrow. To reach Gabe, call 720.600.4870, e-mail [email protected] or visit reversemortgagesco.com.