One of our former neighbors, John, still wonderfully engaging at 91, has been living in an assisted-living community for nearly three years. He stops by his former primary residence periodically and has dinner with folks in the area about once a week.His wife, Irene, passed away more than a decade ago and we can still visualize her walking to her tiny studio behind the house. John and Irene have owned the home for more than 40 years and their three adult children have grown and moved away. While it had been rumored one of them might move in and call it home, various events altered that possibility and the place has sat vacant for most of the past three years. Recently, John's financial counselor mentioned to the children that a decision needed to be made -- quickly -- in order for John to avoid a capital gains tax on the family home. The suggestion caught the children completely off guard because the home needs a significant amount of deferred maintenance to make it appeali...
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