When your parents pass away, they may have a will that tells you who in your family gets which assets. Even if they do, though, major assets — like a family home — may be left jointly to multiple siblings. Then, you and your siblings need to make all of the decisions together.
This can be very difficult if you and your siblings disagree. For instance, maybe you want to sell your parents’ home because you bought your own house and you’d rather have the money to pay it off. A sibling without a home wants to keep it and says it would benefit them more since they can live there. A third sibling also supports keeping it but doesn’t want anyone to live there all the time. They want it to be a joint asset that you can all share for vacations and getaways.
How do you make a decision like this?
Going through your options when you disagree
This may not be easy, but there are options. First off, hopefully, your parents did create an estate plan that tells you exactly what they wanted. This should be followed, even if it’s not what a sibling wants. With no estate plan, the three of you can work together to find a solution. It just may be hard when you’re so directly at odds.
Some cases do end up going to court. The court is simply going to try to do what is fairest for everyone. In this case, that may mean ordering that the home be sold and the money divided or asking the sibling who wants to live in the house if they can afford to buy the other two out of their ownership.
No matter what happens, it can be complicated, so make sure you know what legal steps to take to protect your interests throughout the probate process.