My Mom owns the house free and clear. She inherited it from my grandmother. She doesn’t remember if the cost basis was adjusted at that time, but my grandmother originally purchased the house for 8,000.00 in the 40’s (and had many a sleepless night over such a huge debt).
A) have Mom get a loan (refi, HELOC or education loan) using the house as collateral. I make the payments
B) have Mom add my name to the lease, and I get a loan or create a note.
If my Mom dies without adjusting her will: in case A I’ll be “unprotected”, in case B my sister will be unprotected.
My family is close and not likely to fight over money, but why take the chance if it can be avoided?
What would be the downside of creating a trust to hold the house and having Mom and stepfather transfer 20K worth of shares each to my sister and me every year? Can I get a loan using my shares of the trust as collateral? And what if I want to borrow more against them every year? Will the house have to be appraised every year for my mom to transfer $X worth of shares?
I chose the number $20K because it represents $10K each from Mom and Stepfather. This number sticks in my head as being the maximum to avoid negative tax consequences. Has that changed? What tax implications will Mom and Stepfather, and Sis and I have to investigate?
How are you ‘unprotected’ as you say if your mom dies in case A or B?
In case A the house would transfer to whomever she denotes in the will. That party will either have to pay the note on the house or refinance. Either way you’re paying the note. If it goes to another party then you stop paying the note. If anything, you are completely protected.
In case B you’re even better off. The house is worth 500k according to your post. If you and your mother are both on the deed and she dies, you would remain 50% owner even if she willed the house to another person. You’ve gotten 250k in equity for a $50k loan. That quite a return on investment.
Yes, in case B I’ll have gotten more of the house than I deserve for my contribution (paid for a third and wound up with 3/4ths assuming all mom’s assets are split 50/50) hence, my sister will get the short end of the stick. In case A, whatever I have already paid off on the note is not taken into consideration.