August 11 2017
As the elderly in your life – perhaps your parents or grandparents – grow older, you may need to consider downsizing. The childhood home in which you all grew up together may now be too much space to care for, and has become unmanageable. It is important to consider that this is an overwhelming and emotional time for everyone – for you, your family, and the elderly individual making the move. It is also important to know that you will need to play an important role in the downsize, and will be heavily involved with the process. As the senior citizen in your life downsizes to a retirement community or elderly housing, keep these important tidbits in mind.
• What Is the Status of the Mortgage? – The financial status of the home is one of the most important things to address as the senior citizen in your life downsizes to elderly housing. If the mortgage is not paid in full, then it may need to be paid at the time of closing. You may also be responsible for taxes associated with the home. Talking with a trusted realtor can help clarify important financial questions you may have regarding the estate.
• What Is the Status of Their Bills? – Speaking of finances, you should address the status of any bills associated with the home. This means any utility bills, homeowner association fees, and insurance payments. You should continue paying these bills as you attempt to sell the home. As the realtor shows the home off to prospective buyers, you’ll still need electricity and running water!
• What Is the Budget/Expected Income? – Before they move into elderly housing, you should understand what the individual moving expects to receive in the sale. This can be found in the net sheet that will be given to you by your real estate agent. This net sheet will specify the expected proceeds of the sale after everything has been accounted for. You should compare this number with the number your senior citizen expected to have as they move forward in life.
• How Much Work Needs to be Completed? – You should determine what in the home needs to be fixed or repaired before the home can be placed on the market. Also evaluate if you will need to declutter the home before it can be sold. When downsizing to an elderly home, your loved one will not be able to take as many possessions with them.
• Address the Power of Attorney – You will need to receive a valid POA before being permitted to complete a real estate transaction on behalf of the elderly individual in your life. Talk with your realtor to find out your options, and to see if your current POA is valid for a financial sale.