Is a house on leased land considered an asset in the eyes of the law?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is a house on leased land considered an asset in the eyes of the law?

My father-in-law needs to apply for assisted living. He is divorced and he and his ex-wife own a beach cabin on leased land. I believe this is considered personal property. Also, she stays there in the summer but he has had no access to it. Could this prevent him from getting help with assisted living? He has no money to contribute.

Asked on February 16, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

An asset is anything with any net positive value owned by a person, so if it is not "underwater" in value due to a loan or any liens, it is an asset. Realistically, its value to your father in law may be low since he's only half owner and, as a house sitting on leased land, it may be very difficult to sell and not command a high price...but whatever value it does have, your father in law's share is an asset for this purpose.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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