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Your family home is one of the most vital things to consider when planning out your estate. When it comes to people who have children, your family home is particularly vital, as it is where the children will have spent a significant portion of their lives.

However, the matter of your family house may not be as simple as it seems. 

Multiple factors may come into play; in some cases, you may have to consider your spouse as well as your children.

Luckily, this scenario is where the right of occupancy comes into play. At Diamond Estate Planning, we can help you draft a right of occupancy for your loved ones and ensure that your home stays in the right hands. Read on to learn what a right of occupancy is and how it can protect your loved ones.

What Is The Right Of Occupancy?

The right of occupancy refers to the legal right of somebody to live in a particular area. In estate terms, the right of occupancy is a right that you can grant to anybody you wish to live in your home after you have passed.

Right of occupancy is separate from ownership. When you grant the right of occupancy in your home to somebody as part of your estate, they can live in the home without paying any mortgage or rent, while they may not technically own the home.

A right of occupancy varies in its timeframe. You may decide to grant the right of occupancy for a certain period, until the occupant’s death, or until they simply move out.

Granting the right of occupancy to a trustee is different from willing them your home, or other home-related trust methods. Let’s take a look at just how they differ.

Right Of Occupancy Versus Willing Your Home

When you allow somebody to inherit your home, whether as part of your will or a trust, you are giving them ownership of the home and all financials associated with it.

On the other hand, somebody with the right of occupancy does not own the house. 

For example, you may will your home to your child while giving the right of occupancy to your spouse; this means that, while your child owns it, your spouse has an inalienable right to live there.

In this scenario, your child will be responsible for any mortgage remaining on the house. However, depending on the circumstances of the will or any agreement between the two parties, your spouse may be responsible for maintenance and utilities.

How Does The Right Of Occupancy Protect My Loved Ones?

By writing a right of occupancy into your estate plan, you can ensure that your home remains in the possession of your loved ones – whether that be family or friends.

Keeping your home in the family can provide a sense of security for your family after your passing that they will greatly appreciate.

What Do I Need To Consider When Drafting A Right Of Occupancy Trust?

While a right of occupancy arrangement can be beneficial, there can be drawbacks unless family dynamics are properly considered. 

If you have remarried and are planning to give your current spouse the right of occupancy while allowing your children from a prior marriage to inherit it, conflict may ensue after your passing.

Thankfully, we here at Diamond Estate Planning are more than happy to help you when you decide if a right of occupancy trust is right for you.

Contact Diamond Estate Planning Today

With decades of experience helping Illinois families get their affairs in order, our attorneys at Diamond Estate Planning can help you build a customized estate plan that stands the test of time and protects your loved ones.


DISCLAIMER: Any information contained herein is solely for informational purposes. While it is important that you educate yourself, nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. For specific questions, we urge you to contact a local attorney for advice pertaining to your specific legal needs.

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