Your parent passes away, and prior to their death, you were living in this home with them. Now that they are gone, can your sibling live with you during the probate process? What is the financial responsibility of your sibling?
Note that this article does not constitute legal advice. For specific questions or concerns about how these apply to your situation, consult with a licensed attorney.
Inheriting property from parents
Inheriting property from a parent can be a great and wonderful thing, but not always. If you inherit property like the family home while you still live there, sharing it with your sibling can become a problem. The house will have to go through probate at some point, where siblings are often self-serving and do what’s best for them instead of their family member.
If your sibling is living in the house with you, then that makes sharing this family asset extremely difficult because suddenly two family members have to have equal shares of one asset. Just imagine if the situation was reversed and it was your sibling inheriting from you. Would they allow you to live in their residence? Probably not! What would they do about all of your things? They most likely wouldn’t want to even speak to you. So what can you do in this situation?
Siblings or other family members living in house after death of parents
If your sister or brother is going through a divorce or recently split from a relationship, then living rent-free in the house may be a welcomed option for them at the present time, but it doesn’t mean that they should stay there forever. Even though your sibling lives there, it’s unfair for someone who inherited nothing from their parents to move into the house when all other siblings have been excluded from inheritance.
Inheritance and children from a previous marriage
In order for your sibling to live in the house while it goes through probate, they will need to petition court for temporary relief, otherwise called a TRO (temporary restraining order). Of course, the house will be appraised during the process which will affect other family members because it could lower or increase their inheritance amount.
Transfer of property between siblings
If your sibling wants to keep living in the house after it goes through probate, then they will have to pay an equitable share of the estate’s value. This is a percentage that a court deems fair for temporary or permanent occupancy. If your sibling was not financially responsible during their time living with you, this could leave them responsible for paying off the entire mortgage on the home.
Inheritance from parents and moving out
As strange as it sounds, if your sibling decides to move out of the house before the probate process begins, then they may be able to avoid paying an equitable share because technically they were never a part of any expected inheritance expected from your parents’ estate. Of course, if siblings don’t see eye to eye, then this temporary change in habitat could really hurt them financially.
If you feel like your sibling has no intention of ever leaving the house or paying for their fair share, then it might be an idea to hire a lawyer to help resolve the matter by petitioning the court.
Maintaining a Good Relationship
Siblings inheriting property from their father or mother usually isn’t very common, so having many different ideas on how to handle this type of situation may lead to anger and frustration. The best way forward for everyone here would be to agree on doing things together by setting up a family meeting and sorting out any problems that come up with your sibling in a private arrangement. The money you spent on attorney’s fees or other costs will be well worth it in the end if it means maintaining a good relationship between you both moving forward.
If you can’t seem to agree on anything, then don’t be afraid to talk things through with professionals such as lawyers or mediators as the judge. It is important for everyone involved here to take something away from this experience, whether it’s learning how to communicate constructively or resolving issues much faster when they arise in the future.
Problems when two siblings inherit a house
If you are currently facing an issue with your sibling living in the house, then rest assured that there are options for resolving this matter. Hiring a lawyer or mediator is always an option, or you can try negotiating yourself if you feel confident enough to sit at the table with your sibling and come up with a solution.
Here are some suggestions:
Taking Ownership and be the Sole Owner
If one sibling wants to keep the house and the other wants to sell, they can buy out the other person’s share. This is where you and your sibling will need to set a price that reflects the fair market value of half interest in the property. The person who wants to sell gets their money and the house, while the person who wants to keep it pays them back for what they paid.
Liquidate the Estate and Split Equally
If neither of you wants to own the house after your parent dies, then the easiest solution is to sell it and split the profit. You can hire professionals to help with this or you can do it yourselves, but make sure there is a legally binding mutual agreement that specifies how profits will be divided between you both. If selling the property seems unfair because one person spent more time at home taking care of your parents, then maybe give them more profit from the selling price as a fair settlement.
Rent the property out and Split the Income
If neither of you wants to sell it, but no one also wants to live in the house, then rent the inherited house out. If one of you wants to live in it while renting, then split the income down the middle to pay rent the other owe.
Renovate the house for both of you to live in
Renovating the house is a great solution if you both want to live there, but it’s also expensive. However, once the renovation is complete, neither of you will bear as much of that cost as either you or your sibling would have if only one person was living there. One sibling can also treat the house as his or her vacation home if they already have their own house.
However you settle this problem, just make sure all the terms and conditions are agreed upon by both parties before signing contracts and handing over money. If your siblings made a verbal agreement with no contract drawn up, then they could find themselves back at square one anytime they like, so make sure to make a written agreement.
Do I need a Probate Lawyer?
No, but they can help. A probate attorney helps you settle legal and financial matters when a loved one dies and is in charge of the property until it is passed on to people named in a will or given to heirs if there is no will. In order for your sibling to be able to live legally in the house, someone may have to serve as a personal representative of your parent’s estate while going through probate court.
In some cases, this might not even matter because siblings could agree between themselves on how they want to handle things before anyone files a petition with a court of law. But if these two parties cannot come up with an amicable solution by themselves, then hiring an attorney or mediator would be beneficial. You propose solutions and get legal and financial advice.
You may be able to avoid probate court if:
• There is no will
• The property is jointly held with rights of survivorship
• An heir has been granted a “life estate” in the will as one who gets possession after death to live in as long as they like during their natural life.
If you can’t agree on anything, it might be necessary for someone to serve as a personal representative of the estate while going through probate court. As mentioned earlier, this person could either be you or your sibling and the other party would have to pay them back for what they paid out if neither wants sole ownership of the house. Any partial owner has the right to file a partition action. It is recommended that you work with a probate lawyer to file a partition lawsuit. You should consider mediation before filing a partition suit. Partition actions can get expensive and most cases take a long time, so they should be used as a last resort.
If you’re hiring a lawyer, choose someone from a respectable law firm
Make sure to get everything in writing before signing any forms. It is the responsibility of the personal representative to make sure that money and property go where it’s supposed to, so you will want someone you can trust who knows what they’re doing.
If you decide to represent yourself, then at least take a course on how to do so offered by your state. You’ll need detailed knowledge about probate laws and must know what steps are necessary when distributing property and resolving disputes with other parties involved.
Can Siblings Force the Sale of Inherited Property?
No. All of the inheritors of the house will need to agree before a sale goes ahead as it is their legal right. If there is a dispute between siblings, the probate court can step in and decide what should be done in their ruling. This is why it’s so important to have your affairs in order with a will and an executor because the court would appoint this person if the deceased person didn’t appoint one.
Decided to sell your inherited house?
The process of selling your inherited home can be difficult. There are many considerations to take into account and the right decisions need to be made at every step for things to go smoothly. If you would like more information about any specific aspect of what is required during the sell-a-home process after somebody dies, please do not hesitate to reach out, ASAP Cash Offer can most certainly help you! Just Fill up the form below, or call us at (805) 210-8586 and you will receive a fair cash offer for your home within 24 hours, with no hidden fees or closing costs. We want your experience going through this challenging time as smooth as possible.