My in-laws have asked for my assistance to payoff their mortgage/2nd mortgage and in return I can have the home and property when they are deceased. I have a enough money saved that I can pay-off the 2nd mortgage, but it would take me a few years to pay-off the principle loan. I don't want to take a loan to purchase, so my question is how can I legally assist my in-laws and ensure the house and property are mine if I agree to their purposal.
2 Answers from Attorneys
That is a tricky area. First, you need to treat it as a business deal, not a family matter. Either buy it from them (and make an agreement to lease it back or give them a life estate), or see a lawyer to give you the appropriate security interest. If you just loan them money and don't get title, and they have financial problems that leads to foreclosure, bankruptcy or Medicare issues, you may end out out the money and the property.
Be very careful how you do this, as one misstep could mean you being out the money and not having a house. I'd be glad to discuss it with you in more detail to determine the best way to protect your interest, and this can probably be done inexpensively, but it is not a do it yourself project.
Depending on details I don't have, options may include you holding a second mortgage on the home, a deed where you have a right of surviorship (either a life estate with remainder to you, or adding you as joint tenant with right of survivorship), an option to purchase, or some combination of the above. Each has some pros and cons, depending on details.
Feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 and set an appointment to review the options.