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'Fight' with sibling-finances


Family Parents too demanding? Sibling driving you mad? Tell us!

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Old 25th December 2015, 12:55 PM   #1
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'Fight' with sibling-finances

My sibling and I have always been very close. Not close as in we talk a lot, but we know (knew) that we would always be there for each other.

This all seemed to have changed.

Through some construction, our parents bought us a house, which would in a sense serve as our inheritance. However, my brother being a lot older, moved in there with his girlfriend. This is almost a decade ago.

Now he was worked on the house, and made it worth more.

Now, as I am looking to pay for my education, I would like to get my ' inheritance'. So I asked him what we can do. He told me he had some financial issues, and since a new kid is on the way, he really is in no position to pay me my share.

I talked to other family members about it, and they plainly stated he should just get a mortgage on the house and buy me out. Now I have some issues here:
1. I feel bad that I am in a way asking him to pay me, even though he does not have the money. I do not want to burden his family. I feel like it would hurt our relationship (ever since I talked to him about it, our contact has significantly decreased). But on the other, just waiting around, potentially years for this money, does also not seem like the perfect solution.

2. What is the right amount for me? Half of what it is worth now? Half of what it was worth at the time of the purchase? Either one, plus any interest I would have received over the years? I have zero experience with such things, and I do not want to be taken advantage of.
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Old 25th December 2015, 1:57 PM   #2
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So have your parents passed away? Did they not leave any instructions regarding how the house should be split among the siblings? You may have to seek professional legal advice on this. If part of that house legally belongs to you then your brother needs to honor that regardless of his personal situation.
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Old 25th December 2015, 5:25 PM   #3
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If he can't afford to pay out your share, he should sell the house. Unfortunately I think this is going to get messy as he has acted as if the house was his and his alone.

I'd get legal advice if I was you. As for the division of the proceeds, I would ask for half the current value as it would have been if he hadn't renovated.
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Old 25th December 2015, 5:43 PM   #4
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it's rather like a divorce where both people have a (presumably) equal share of ownership. in almost every case the person who wants to stay has to buy the other out. that would be the best option since the house is truly not his. he would get back his improvements if he decided to sell, and they also remain his if he decided to stay. but you cannot ask for cash outright, that isn't fair either. you do have a right to be bought out or ask him to sell so you get a truly fair portion. but you'll probably need legal counsel to help facilitate this all. either way your needed influx of cash won't come fast... this stuff takes time.
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Old 31st December 2015, 1:48 PM   #5
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I talked a bit to my sibling now, he wants to give half of the value now, minus the improvements.

Now I think that's mostly fair, however, he has lived in the house for a decade. I have not lived there, not ever been able to enjoy to enjoy that share it its monetary form. On the other hand, he has been paying for upkeep, property taxes, etc. for the house. So would it be too much to ask him for my share plus accumulated interest? Someone else via PM said he would ask for rent for the time my sibling lived there, as a makeup for me not having been able to enjoy my share.

I am still going to seek legal advice, but just wondering if anyone thinks that's fair to ask, or if the initial offer is the fairest one?
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Old 31st December 2015, 3:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PieceTablo View Post
I talked a bit to my sibling now, he wants to give half of the value now, minus the improvements.

Now I think that's mostly fair, however, he has lived in the house for a decade. I have not lived there, not ever been able to enjoy to enjoy that share it its monetary form. On the other hand, he has been paying for upkeep, property taxes, etc. for the house. So would it be too much to ask him for my share plus accumulated interest? Someone else via PM said he would ask for rent for the time my sibling lived there, as a makeup for me not having been able to enjoy my share.

I am still going to seek legal advice, but just wondering if anyone thinks that's fair to ask, or if the initial offer is the fairest one?
Do not move a finger without sound legal advice.

From a legal point of view, he has no leg to stand on. Let me put it in this way: Say I own a car and lend it to you. You decided to put new tires on it, throwing away the old tires. Can a car go without tires? Did I ask you to change the tires? Nope, so you did that on your own free will, and since you do not have the old tires you will have to let go of the new ones.

If I was your lawyer I would pick the war I can win. In other words, DO NOT focus on:
- Whether he can prove he did the improvements or the extend of them
- Whether he should pay you back rent.

Focus on tear & wear: The so-called improvements are the direct result of him living rent-free. If he did not live in that place, he would not need to make such improvements. If he rented that place and someone else did the improvements without your consent and agreement we would have a lost case for the tenant. Why should you lose money on something that you did not agree on?

One thing is for sure, either way you will lose your brother, either because he is such a low class that will deduct money without ever paying rent, or because you will most likely win and he will stop talking to you. Either way, next time you talk to him make sure your lawyer is present, so he knows you mean business. And here is the deal that will be written and signed by you and your lawyer:

You will find out how much the house is worth (improvements and all) and your brother can decide whether he buys you out, or you sell the house. The cost of the improvements are offset by you not asking past rent.

If he does not like that deal, you go to court and the house will most likely go for auction. If he wants to take that route, you will also sue him for past rent.

Let's see then how smart your brother really is.
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Old 31st December 2015, 3:46 PM   #7
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Legally you deserve half of the rent for the last 10 years. But your brother can claim that you didn't say anything at the first place, so he's assumed that you let him live there for free and if he would have known, he may have chosen to live in a cheaper place. (No judge will justify this statement)

But I really think it's not only a matter of money. Even if you're 100% right, you might ruin your relationship with him. I could advice him the same, but he already made his choice.

I say it as a one who gave up a huge amount of money in two different cases, each of them just to remain in a good relationship with family.
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Old 1st January 2016, 2:21 PM   #8
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These types of situations are heartbreaking.

In all fairness, you are entitle to 1/2 the house, per your parents.

He basically took possesion, made improvements and upkeep.

He also paid property taxes for 10 years.

He also lived there rent free for 10 years, and it can be argued that the absence of rent/house note freed up cash for him to do the other things.

First, I would sit down with a lawyer and decide what it is you want exactly as well as any legal implications. Hopefully you will be able to sit down with your brother and get some agreement with him on this.

Life lesson: if you have kids don't put them through this "shared inheritance" nonsense. That is one of the most effective ways of tearing them apart.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 3:41 PM   #9
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Life lesson: if you have kids don't put them through this "shared inheritance" nonsense. That is one of the most effective ways of tearing them apart.
Amen to that.
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Old 4th January 2016, 3:25 AM   #10
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I agree with the second comment about that
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