Living in an imperfect world, you know that siblings rarely agree on everything. Tensions may run even higher than normal when you couple that inability to agree with the emotional toll of losing a loved one. By creating rugged emotional terrain, inheriting a home with a sibling can lead to both financial and emotional stress for everyone involved. However, you and your siblings need to split the Michigan house you inherited from your parents. For more information on how to do so, please read on, then contact one of our experienced Washtenaw County probate attorneys. Some ways to split an inherited house in Michigan include:
Using a partition suit to resolve a conflict
If you and your siblings have tried everything and still can’t reach an agreement on how to split your jointly-inherited property, you might consider involving the courts with a partition suit. Partition lawsuits ask the judge to order the home’s sale to terminate the co-ownership. The judge will typically require a mediator to mitigate conflicts between the co-owners. Please bear in mind that you will have to pay for the mediator.
Sharing ownership of the home
When sharing ownership of the home, you will have to consider the following forms of tenancy:
- Tenancy in common: Wherein each owner possesses an equal or unequal interest in the property, which they can sell or transfer to another person without needing their co-owner’s approval.
- Joint tenancy: Wherein all co-owners possess equal shares or an equal amount of interest, which they can’t pass down to heirs because the other co-owners automatically inherit the shares upon each other’s deaths.
Should neither sibling wish to sell the family home, they may rent it out and make a profit. One or more siblings may even live alongside any renters.
Structuring a buyout
Unless otherwise stated, siblings inherit most properties evenly. This means one party would need to finance half of the home’s value if they want to buy their sibling out. In order to facilitate a buyout, the siblings will need to have the home professionally appraised to determine the worth of the property and how much one sibling needs to pay to buy out his or her co-owner. Upon a determination of the home’s value, one sibling can pay the other for their share and transfer the deed into their own name.
Unless you have the funds on hand, you may need to refinance or take out a loan. Given the intricacy of this process, you should speak with a skilled Washtenaw County estate planning attorney first.
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