Inherited a Home with Siblings? What Are Your Options?

  1. Siblings

Being at odds with your siblings can easily complicate the process of inheriting a home especially if you have different priorities. The last thing you need is a strained family relationship. So before anything else, it would be very helpful if you set aside any strong emotions that might impede or jeopardize the entire process. To simplify things, consider the following options.

NOTE: Before you attempt to take further steps, make sure you consult a lawyer who can be relied upon when it comes to legal matters. The information you are about to learn will only introduce some fundamental concepts and common practices when it comes to home inheritance. It is always safe to get a legal advice for your own safety and convenience.

Sell the House

Sell

If all siblings agree to sell the property, then decide how to share the proceeds equally. Selling the house makes things easier for everyone in the family. It is also a wise decision especially if the real estate market is vibrant.

Think of the benefits when you put it up for sale. For instance, the money that you will receive may be deployed in a new investment. If you intend to set up a new home business, you could use the cash for your capital or for additional office furniture.

To facilitate the sale, you should talk to an experienced homebuyer. Find someone who is responsible, fair, and knowledgeable. With the help of a home buying professional, you will have a good chance to get a reasonable market value for your house.

A few things to consider when selling a house:

  • Capital gains tax – You need to calculate the capital gains every time you sell a property. All profits generated from a sale of capital assets, which include real estate properties, have capital gains tax.
  • Long-term gain – If you and your siblings decide to sell the house at a later date, say for instance a year after it has been declared as an inheritance, you need to pay tax as well. It is important to remember that losses, especially in residential properties, are not always recognized by a tax authority. Keep this in mind. 

Buyout

Buyout

After a decedent declares that the house must be owned by the remaining heirs, in this case, you and your siblings, nothing can be done to change it. However, if one of the siblings chooses to retain the property, then financing is a better option.

In this arrangement, one of you must provide cash to the other sibling who wants to sell his or her share. Buying out the share of the other sibling also helps you transfer the title of the property to your own name.

Minimal costs might be incurred. For example, consider the cost of the appraisal, which is needed to ascertain the current value of the house. In addition, you may also need to pay for the closing costs.

Again, this arrangement is only recommended if the siblings do not all agree to sell the house. Otherwise, you may want to consider other options.

Legal Partition

Legal Partition

If disagreements arise because of the inheritance, the ideal solution would be to go to court for partition. This means a judge will have to look into your ownership. The judge may then decide to terminate the co-ownership.

This option may trigger strong emotions but if all parties recognize and address the issues objectively, the meditation process will go pretty smoothly. Co-owner disputes could cause major delays and this is something that you need to iron out first with your lawyer.

When you decide to sell a property, consider getting an expert advice from a real estate professional or from a local investment business to help you get started.