How can my sister stay in the house Mom had a reverse mortgage on after Mom dies?

A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother at age 83 took a reverse mortgage last year and died last month. My sister who is 55 years old is the remainderman of her estate and has been living in the house with her for many years. She still lives in the house. Will she be forced to sell the house or can she continue living there?

Expert Answer

The bank holding the reverse mortgage will want, and be legally entitled to, repayment of the money it is owed under that mortgage. Your sister needs to determine how much money is owed to the bank. Then the question becomes how she can pay that money to the bank. This would depend on:

  • What financial assets, aside from the house, your sister has;

  • The terms of the reverse mortgage. There are different types of reverse mortgages, with varying repayment requirements

  • What the bank is willing to do regarding repayment. Will it accept repayment spread over time, or will it insist on prompt full payment?

I surely hope that your sister can continue to live in the house. That's certain how it should be.