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Land Lease to Parents

Discussion in 'Joint Ownership' started by avoirgold, Aug 26, 2019.

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  1. avoirgold

    avoirgold Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    West Virginia
    My in-laws want us to by a real estate lot in Westover, WV. Then they will pay to build a structure to go on that land. My husband said, "They would pay for the structure and put in the deed that we own the house on their death."

    We have already given them over $80,000 without a penny of repayment (long story, don't ask, I'm trying to let it go.). I want to make sure we are protected if we do this. I want to make sure that the land will be in our names and fully belong to us. How would this work? Is there some kind of land lease we can do? I'm thinking about the old trailer parks where the trailer was owned, but the land it sat on was leased.

    Thank you for your help!
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Seek out the assistance of a local attorney. This is way too important to rely on an internet forum.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You don't have to deed the property to your in-laws.

    There is a better way to do what they want, which protects you and your spouse.

    You can put (SHOULD put) the deed in your name and your spouse's name.

    You can then give your in-laws a life estate.

    If you give a person a life estate, called a life tenancy, it is the right to live on or use the property during his/their lifetime -- but he/she has no right to sell the property.

    When BOTH life tenants die, the life estates end, and the property reverts to designated persons called "remaindermen," (YOU and your SPOUSE) who then own the property without encumbrance, AGAIN.

    If you wish to do this, after deliberating and debating it, retain a real estate attorney to make sure it is done legally and correctly.
     
  4. avoirgold

    avoirgold Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks Army Judge!! I didn't even know what to ask an attorney for. Your explanation is very helpful.

    Zigner, thanks for your reply, but I already intended to do that. I need some guidance on what to ask for or a recommended approach.
     
    army judge likes this.
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    And you're willing to buy land for these people to build on? Don't you know how to say "no"?
     
    Zigner likes this.
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I think I understand the OP's position, as a spouse, one often agrees to many things.

    A successful marriage is replete with compromise, even "giving in" at times.

    We've been married for over 50 years, and each day can be a struggle.

    Over the years, your bond can become very tight.

    There is NOTHING I wouldn't do to make my wife happy, including gifting money to "in-laws".

    She has helped build what I jokingly call, "our Fred Sanford empire".

    Money is just another of life's many tools.

    To paraphrase my old drill sergeant, "Money, give it away if you got it."
     
  7. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    The first problem here is that if you buy the property, then your in-laws would have no involvement whatsoever in the deed process or any ability to put anything into any deed. If you buy land and allow your in-laws to build a structure on the land, you will own both the land and the structure.

    Well...if you buy the land, then you presumably would be on the deed as owners. The way to "protect" yourself is to ensure that's what the deed to the property says. If you don't feel comfortable that you can handle this yourself, then don't go through with it or hire an attorney to represent your interests and review everything. Given that you apparently have sufficient wealth to ignore $80k in unpaid debt and still buy land that the people who owe you this debt will use, I have to assume paying for an attorney will not be an issue.

    You certainly could enter into a lease (and, IMO, doing that would be far preferable to giving your in-laws a life estate).

    The "recommended approach" is to tell the lawyer what you want to do and then the let the lawyer ask questions. The best lawyer consultations involve the lawyer asking all the questions and the client providing information and the lawyer then providing recommendations based on the information from the client. If you have questions, by all means ask them, but there is no need for you to do that.
     
  8. avoirgold

    avoirgold Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies!

    Ajusterjack, in my family, you take care of each other. That’s just what family does. My husband wants to take care of his mother and that is what we will do. It’s better than them living with us. Like many baby boomers, they didn’t save for retirement and are living in just social security.

    We’ll get an attorney and go from there. Thanks again for all the replies.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    But they have money to build the house once you buy the land? Or will you pay for building the house, too?

    If the latter, that simplifies things. Just buy an existing house and let them rent it from you, or live there for free.

    Why complicate matters with land and building?
     
    cynthiag likes this.
  10. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    I'm sorry, but baby boomers who would "borrow" $80,000 from their child and not repay it and then ask them to set up some sort of deal like this give the rest of us baby boomers a bad name.

    I'm the first to admit that I didn't plan the greatest for retirement, but I certainly wouldn't put the burden of my poor planning on my son and expect him to take it because "that's what families do". What a selfish mindset.

    That said, hopefully when you go through with this deal, which is what you sound determined to do, you'll protect yourselves from being taken for another huge chunk of change.
     

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