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The home is a tricky subject when considering estate planning with multiple children. You can divide up other assets, like your life insurance policy or your savings. But what do you do with the family home?

Parents have essentially two main options. First off, they can leave the house to one or more children in the will. Secondly, they can sell the house. There are pros and cons to both. 

The benefit of selling the house is that you can then divide the money. You can either state in your will that it should be sold, or you can just sell it in advance. A lot of people do this when they move into a nursing home. It’s easy to divide money, after all, and so converting assets into cash makes planning simple. 

The benefit of leaving the home to the children is that the house stays in the family. Maybe you built it yourself. Maybe you lived there for 50 years, raising the kids there. They may really want to keep it. They’re less interested in the money than the memories they have of growing up in the home. 

The downside to leaving it to them, though, is that you can cause a dispute. If you leave it to one child and not the others, that can start a fight. If you leave it to all of the children, they still have to agree on how to use it and how to cover the costs. Things are not always as simple as you would like them to be. 

As you think through the options you have, make sure you consider them carefully and determine how they will impact your family.