Some older adults may need to move to a senior living community before they know what to do with their home. In fact, moving your parent or loved one to a new space before asking them to make a decision about their house is often the best option. Moving is difficult enough without factoring in a realtor who expects to show the house to prospective buyers all the time. If your parent has the resources to finance it, moving first and dealing with the home later is the way to go. Discover how to proceed once your loved one makes the decision to move to a senior care community.
1. Make the Move to the New Community
Assist your loved one to help them make the smoothest transition possible to their new community. Go through your parent’s home and help them pick out their most beloved items to take to the new space. Even if you do not have a substantial amount of things to move, it may prove beneficial to hire a moving company just to ease the burden of lifting heavy furniture and boxes. When you arrive at their new community, arrange and organize all of your loved one’s belongings so that they feel at home.
2. Figure Out What to Do with the Home
Helping your parent decide what to do with their home is critically important. Consider the following options:
- Rent: Before you decide to sell your loved one’s previous residence, consider renting it to a third party if you have the means to manage the property. This way, your parent still retains control of the property and continues to profit off the equity. They can also use the monthly funds generated from renting to pay down the costs of their senior living community.
- Sell: If your loved one prefers to sell their home rather than rent it out, make sure you have the best people around to assist you in this process. Do your research to find the right realtor who will help your loved one receive the best price. Often, older adults have lived in their current homes for a substantial amount of time, and the home may require staging and minor repairs before placing it on the market. Bridge loans are available if your parent needs access to funds before selling the home as well.
- Keep or Transfer: Many Skilled Nursing communities require residents to use all of their available assets to pay for care, including the profit from the sale of their house. Therefore, in the case of a move into a Skilled Nursing community, your parent should consider keeping the house themselves to exempt it from being used to pay for the facility. While seniors generally do not have to sell their home in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage of a Skilled Nursing community, it is possible that the state can file a claim against your loved one when they pass away. If the property is sold while your parent is still living, they would have to satisfy the Medicaid lien by paying back the state. However, the exceptions to this rule are cases where the home is transferred to a spouse, a child under the age of twenty-one or who is blind or disabled, or a sibling with an equity interest.
3. Review All Accounts and Policies
When changing your parent’s residence, make sure to review their will, power of attorney, beneficiaries, and health care proxy. When your loved one moves to a senior living community, the law requires them to let their homeowner’s insurance know of any vacancies. Your loved one could face a large property tax bill if they don’t disclose their change in residence to their county tax office.
The process of figuring out what to do with a home that they have lived in for many years is tough for both you and your loved one. Fortunately, resources exist that specialize in developing and implementing plans that will reduce your stress. You can call on these professional services for assistance with realtors, home stagers, housecleaning services, estate attorneys, property management companies, senior move managers, residency counselors from senior living communities, and more.