In an interesting trend, more and more Americans are living in multigenerational households than ever before. Multigenerational homes are defined as those with more than one adult generation residing in them. In 2012, about 56.8 million Americans lived in such households, approximately 18.1% more than in 2011. In comparison, only about 28 million lived in such homes in 1980.
Part of the reason for this shift is the economy. If people lose jobs or have tight household budgets, they consolidate homes. More children are living with their parents, and more elderly parents are moving in with their adult children. High student loan debt, rising rents, and poor job prospects for millennials have caused many people from ages 18 to 34 to delay leaving home and buying their own houses.
The housing industry has responded to this shift by offering homes specifically for multigenerational families. NexGen homes, as they’re called, are larger homes built for larger families who want to stay out of each other’s hair. Each floor might come with a separate living room, kitchenette, and private entrance, and some models come with a master bedroom on each level.
Architects who build these homes are working on new designs that can create an area within the home where people can live in areas set aside for them but where there’s connectivity inside the rest of the house.
Other people who already have homes are looking to adapt their current houses to fit a multigenerational home style. Instead of having to buy a new home or worry about finding assisted living facilities for older parents, people are opting to live in shared spaces with each other.
This trend can make the estate planning process a little less impersonal. There is no need to plan for incapacity outside the home. Instead, planning for incapacitation would only necessitate the need to bring in medical equipment and hire a nurse to assist an elderly individual inside the multigenerational home.
Likewise, if more than one generation is living inside the same house, there is no need to worry about which child gets to live in or sell the parent’s house. One or more children may already be living with their elderly parent under the same roof.
If you’re hoping to set your estate in order, don’t hesitate to give our skilled Nassau County estate planning attorneys a call. We can work with you one-on-one through the entire process. Let us offer compassionate counsel and insightful guidance.
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