Category: Elder Law

Are You Ever Too Old For A HECM Reverse Mortgage?

reverse mortgage advisor connecticutThe minimum age for a reverse mortgage loan is 62, but what about a maximum age?  Is anyone ever too old for a reverse mortgage?  I don’t think so, although it won’t be right for everyone.

Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners, or those seeking to purchase a home, who are 62 and older, including married couples.  There are NO loan or mortgage payment requirements while living in the home, but they are responsible for continuing to pay property taxes, homeowners insurance, and any other associated costs such as HOA fees and utilities.  The loan becomes due when the last borrower passes away or permanently leaves the home (for 12 consecutive months).

Common reasons for seeking out a reverse mortgage include boosting retirement income, strategically protecting retirement assets or delaying the use of them, medical care, or simply to have a safety net.   The creative uses for reverse mortgages go full circle.  But what about the very elderly?  How can it help them?

I once worked with a 100 year old man to obtain a reverse mortgage on his home and fund in-home care while he continued to age.  He was able to reside at home with 24 hour care at a cost of $10,000 a month.  When I was sitting at the closing table with this client and his lawyer, the lawyer mentioned that that he could move to an assisted living facility at half the cost ($5,000/month). This gentleman’s quick, sharp answer back to everyone? “NO…. I’m staying in my home.”  And he did.  And I was honored to have helped him be able to do that.

An example would be if a parent-adult child duo were living together as they both age.  In many of these cases, it’s common both are age eligible to be on the loan.  And why shouldn’t they be?

Sometimes the elderly want to live out the final years of their life by sharing time and gifts with those they love.  Why not offer inheritance while you’re here and can enjoy watching those you love reap the rewards of it?

Whatever the reason, reverse mortgage may be the answer, no matter how old the borrower is.

One concern that can arise is whether or not the elderly can pass the financial assessment needed to obtain the reverse mortgage loan, since they likely have limited income by this point.  But older borrowers can tap a larger percentage of their home’s equity, allowing for a potential set-aside of funds to cover required expenses. The reason is that their life expectancy is shorter, meaning the expected term of their loan will be shorter, too.

Today Show : Part 3 – Helping Parents Make Legal, Medical, and Financial Decisions

Recently, financial expert, Jean Chatzky, did a three part series on the Today Show called “Taking Care of Mom & Dad”.  Each of these segments specifically touched on real questions adult children have regarding what to expect as their parents age.

The video featured here is Part 3 – Helping Parents Make Legal, Medical, and Financial Decisions. 

Take a few minutes to watch this well done, informative short video.  Find Part 2 here, and Part 1 here.

 

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Do You Need A Connecticut Elder Law Attorney?

reverse mortgage advisor connecticutElder law is a relatively unknown segment of law and is often overlooked when seeking legal solutions.  But for some older individuals and their families an elder law attorney may be exactly what they need. 

Elder law is very broad and includes things like estate planning, probate, guardianship, real estate, nursing home neglect and a dozen other areas of law that are nearly exclusive to the senior citizens and the elderly. Typically one lawyer will not have expertise in every area, but will instead work with a network of attorneys who can supplement in specific areas when needed and vice versa.  Also, keep in mind just because an individual is older does not mean they need an elder law attorney.  Elder law is focused on legal problems specific to the older demographic.  Concerns with other areas of law may best be handled by attorneys dedicated to those areas.

An elder law attorney should be educated and informed on HECM reverse mortgages.  It is common for them to receive questions from clients, former clients, and their families about reverse mortgage when establishing estate plans or when they are considering a reverse mortgage for the first time.  Although reverse mortgages can be an excellent and safe tool for many homeowners, they are not for everyone and are most effective when used as part of a financial and/or estate plan.  They can also help with avoiding reverse mortgage scams.

Here are a few questions to ask when seeking out a an elder law attorney:

  • How long has the attorney been practicing?
  • What percentage of the attorney’s practice is devoted to elder law?
  • Does his or her practice emphasize a particular area of elder law? (for instance, guardianship or other specific work)
  • How much elder law training has the attorney had, and from what organizations?
  • Is the attorney a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys?
  • Will the attorney be able to work within your time limitations?
  • In addition to a legal network, an elder law attorney should be familiar with the “elder network”, a network of public and private community resources to assist seniors in various capacities.  This should include a reputable reverse mortgage advisor.

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.