The children’s bedroom, where that poster of your favourite band used to hang, or the dining table at which animated family discussions took place – the parental home is far more than just a property to you.
Before you arrange a transfer of ownership, you should however answer several questions for yourself: who in addition to the parents must be involved in the transfer? Can you anyway afford the house? And which taxes and other charges will you be liable to?
How your parents can consign the house to you
Provided the property is transferred during the lifetime of your parents, it can take place as a gift, mixed gift, that is to say only partially in return for payment, or as a purchase at market value. In the case of a gift you must compensate your siblings using the value of the property on the day of death as a basis, unless an arrangement to the contrary was made.
The question is often asked as to how to distinguish between an advancement and a gift. Without a decree to the contrary a gift is an advancement. Your parents can however stipulate in the will that the value of the property must not be considered a portion of your inheritance after their death. That would then be a gift that is not under a statutory compensation obligation – with a caveat however regarding the remaining heirs right to a statutory share.
To transfer the property out of a community of heirs on succession, you must pay your siblings a proportionate amount. In principle the market value of the property is relevant as the accepted basis for that. Your parents can stipulate a lower transfer value in the will, in so far as they do not thereby negatively impact the legal share of the remaining heirs.
You can acquire the property by purchase, whereby conflicts of interest can be avoided. In the case of a purchase you should have the market value of the property assessed. In this way in the case of a later succession it cannot be presumed to be a mixed gift.
How you parents’ right of abode or right of use affect the transfer
If you grant your parents a right of abode or right of use, ownership resides with you. Depending on the age of your parents this can lead to a significantly lower transfer value.
However, you can in this case only move into the property if your parents no longer occupy the house (relating to the right of abode) or renounce the right of use. In addition, you should keep in mind the tax consequences. If your parents have a right of abode, they must pay tax on the imputed rental value – the wealth tax will be levied on the owner of the property. With a right of use your parents will pay tax on both the imputed rental value and also the taxable value of the property.