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Dad has Alzheimer’s. Who will get his home when he dies?


Q. Our son provided daily care for his father. His father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia and pancreatic cancer. What is the status of my son’s claim to his father’s house?
— Unsure

A. Your question leaves out some important information.

We’ll make some assumptions here to help guide you.

First, it’s unclear if the father had a will before his cognitive decline. That could answer some questions for you.

“If the father owns the home with any co-owner(s) joint with rights of survivorship, then the co-owner(s) will inherit his interest upon his death,” said Yale Hauptman, an estate planning attorney with Hauptman and Hauptman in Livingston. “If he owns the home alone and has a will, then that document will control who receives the home.”

Hauptman said if the home is owned solely by the father and he does not have a will, then the intestacy laws will tell us who is entitled to receive the home.

The exact distribution will depend on whether he is married and how many children he has, he said.

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This story was originally published on Sept. 24, 2021. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.