Author Topic: Question for you real estate folks  (Read 2565 times)

friedmmj

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Question for you real estate folks
« on: February 17, 2019, 04:02:51 PM »
My brother and I are trying to figure out how to divide a small inheritance which consists of a small row home (free and clear and market value < $50k) along with a sum of cash around $28k.  He is a financially irresponsible loser (no wife or kids at least) and is currently living in the home by himself.  I don't want to sell the house because he likely won't find anything as affordable as that (super LCOL area) and if he had the cash proceeds he would blow it inside of a year and have nowhere to live.

I came up with the idea to put the $28k cash into a reserve account which I will control and pay the property taxes ($1k/yr) and any major repairs like new roof or water heater.  I want to put the deed in his name only so I don't have liability but I also don't want him taking out any equity line or reverse mortgage and I also want to retain my ownership stake for when he dies or sells eventually. 

How easy is it for me to place a first mortgage private lien on the house representing my half of the estate?  I don't intend to collect payments or interest.  I just want to have that lien so he can't screw me and cash-out mortgage the place himself.   Do I need a lawyer for this or could I pull it off on my own with the county clerk?

wageslave23

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 08:22:22 AM »
So you are entitled to about 35k?  Why not just take the $27k cash and leave him the house?  Sounds like a lot of hassle for a future payment of an extra $8k.

AMandM

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2019, 08:29:51 AM »
Does your brother agree that he is a loser and that you should control his access to his property?

friedmmj

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2019, 08:51:40 AM »
So you are entitled to about 35k?  Why not just take the $27k cash and leave him the house?  Sounds like a lot of hassle for a future payment of an extra $8k.

Because he won't pay the taxes or do any repairs and will eventually get evicted at a tax sale and be homeless.

friedmmj

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2019, 08:53:14 AM »
Does your brother agree that he is a loser and that you should control his access to his property?
Basically yes.  Actually, he expects to stay in the house and also get some of the cash.

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2019, 09:10:17 AM »
You are not responsible for your brother, he won't change his behavior unless he decides to change, and you can't control him, even if you are sure its in his best interest.

In your shoes, I would want to get rid of all financial entanglement.  As long as you have an interest in the house, his behavior poses a risk to you.  I would immediately have an appraisal done of the house as of the date of death.  Once it was demonstrated that the house is worth more than the $27k in cash, I would offer to either gift him the house or force a partition where the house is sold and the proceeds plus the current cash are split 50-50.  If he has any brains, he will take the house.  Follow through with the partition if he does not.  If you are the executor or the trustee of a trust holding the assets, you may not have to go through the full partition process.  An estate attorney consultation may be of use to you here.

What he does with the cash or the house is up to him.  Just be very clear with him that if he loses the house or blows through the cash, you will not support him financially or enable his behavior.  Then follow through and allow him to make whatever mistakes he wants but do not enable his bad behavior in any way.

No different than dealing with an alcoholic or an addict. 

friedmmj

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2019, 09:48:30 AM »
You are not responsible for your brother, he won't change his behavior unless he decides to change, and you can't control him, even if you are sure its in his best interest.

In your shoes, I would want to get rid of all financial entanglement.  As long as you have an interest in the house, his behavior poses a risk to you.  I would immediately have an appraisal done of the house as of the date of death.  Once it was demonstrated that the house is worth more than the $27k in cash, I would offer to either gift him the house or force a partition where the house is sold and the proceeds plus the current cash are split 50-50.  If he has any brains, he will take the house.  Follow through with the partition if he does not.  If you are the executor or the trustee of a trust holding the assets, you may not have to go through the full partition process.  An estate attorney consultation may be of use to you here.

What he does with the cash or the house is up to him.  Just be very clear with him that if he loses the house or blows through the cash, you will not support him financially or enable his behavior.  Then follow through and allow him to make whatever mistakes he wants but do not enable his bad behavior in any way.

No different than dealing with an alcoholic or an addict.

Thank you so much for this advice.  I am coming to this same conclusion myself, but this is my only reasonable path.  He lived with our parents until he was middle aged and only moved out due to being sent to prison for abusing my Mom.  He's my only sibling and it hurts me greatly to realize there is nothing I can do for him.

friedmmj

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2019, 09:54:50 AM »
You are not responsible for your brother, he won't change his behavior unless he decides to change, and you can't control him, even if you are sure its in his best interest.

In your shoes, I would want to get rid of all financial entanglement.  As long as you have an interest in the house, his behavior poses a risk to you.  I would immediately have an appraisal done of the house as of the date of death.  Once it was demonstrated that the house is worth more than the $27k in cash, I would offer to either gift him the house or force a partition where the house is sold and the proceeds plus the current cash are split 50-50.  If he has any brains, he will take the house.  Follow through with the partition if he does not.  If you are the executor or the trustee of a trust holding the assets, you may not have to go through the full partition process.  An estate attorney consultation may be of use to you here.

What he does with the cash or the house is up to him.  Just be very clear with him that if he loses the house or blows through the cash, you will not support him financially or enable his behavior.  Then follow through and allow him to make whatever mistakes he wants but do not enable his bad behavior in any way.

No different than dealing with an alcoholic or an addict.
Following up on your advice, would you delay the division of the cash until the house is sold?  I want to ensure he will cooperate with the house sale and have a motivation to get it sold.

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2019, 10:03:12 AM »
You are not responsible for your brother, he won't change his behavior unless he decides to change, and you can't control him, even if you are sure its in his best interest.

In your shoes, I would want to get rid of all financial entanglement.  As long as you have an interest in the house, his behavior poses a risk to you.  I would immediately have an appraisal done of the house as of the date of death.  Once it was demonstrated that the house is worth more than the $27k in cash, I would offer to either gift him the house or force a partition where the house is sold and the proceeds plus the current cash are split 50-50.  If he has any brains, he will take the house.  Follow through with the partition if he does not.  If you are the executor or the trustee of a trust holding the assets, you may not have to go through the full partition process.  An estate attorney consultation may be of use to you here.

What he does with the cash or the house is up to him.  Just be very clear with him that if he loses the house or blows through the cash, you will not support him financially or enable his behavior.  Then follow through and allow him to make whatever mistakes he wants but do not enable his bad behavior in any way.

No different than dealing with an alcoholic or an addict.

Thank you so much for this advice.  I am coming to this same conclusion myself, but this is my only reasonable path.  He lived with our parents until he was middle aged and only moved out due to being sent to prison for abusing my Mom.  He's my only sibling and it hurts me greatly to realize there is nothing I can do for him.

In your shoes, I would want to have limited or no contact with your brother.  It's too bad your folks allowed him to live in the house and did not take steps to keep him from inheriting anything.  Make the division in a way that is easy for you and disentangles you from his life.  You can't fix him and you will regret being involved in his life if you choose to be involved.

I would not divide the cash.  You may need some of it to settle the estate.  I would also want one settlement, not a multi-step process that will encourage your brother to think he deserves more after he blows through the cash.  In your shoes, I would consult with an experienced estate attorney and consider letting that person handle the settlement, even if it costs the estate some money.

AMandM

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2019, 10:18:50 AM »
So you are entitled to about 35k?  Why not just take the $27k cash and leave him the house?  Sounds like a lot of hassle for a future payment of an extra $8k.
Because he won't pay the taxes or do any repairs and will eventually get evicted at a tax sale and be homeless.

From this and what you posted below, it sounds like any plans you make are just a way of delaying your brother's inevitable slide into homelessness. That is a hard place for you to be in, even if his position is in some respects self-inflicted and well-deserved. I'm sorry. 

In light of that, I would agree that settling the estate and disentangling yourself financially is the most prudent move. Unless perhaps, if I may be somewhat morbid: is there any prospect of making arrangements that would delay your brother's slide into homelessness to a point later than his death?  Depending on his age/health and the cost of maintaining the house, perhaps you could own it, he could live there rent-free, and the cash could be used to pay the taxes & insurance & upkeep. You would know better than us the likelihood of that working out--whether your brother is a big liability in terms of damage to the house, danger to others on the property, etc., whether he has enough income for expenses other than rent, etc.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2019, 10:25:49 AM »
You are not responsible for your brother, he won't change his behavior unless he decides to change, and you can't control him, even if you are sure its in his best interest.

In your shoes, I would want to get rid of all financial entanglement.  As long as you have an interest in the house, his behavior poses a risk to you.  I would immediately have an appraisal done of the house as of the date of death.  Once it was demonstrated that the house is worth more than the $27k in cash, I would offer to either gift him the house or force a partition where the house is sold and the proceeds plus the current cash are split 50-50.  If he has any brains, he will take the house.  Follow through with the partition if he does not.  If you are the executor or the trustee of a trust holding the assets, you may not have to go through the full partition process.  An estate attorney consultation may be of use to you here.

What he does with the cash or the house is up to him.  Just be very clear with him that if he loses the house or blows through the cash, you will not support him financially or enable his behavior.  Then follow through and allow him to make whatever mistakes he wants but do not enable his bad behavior in any way.

No different than dealing with an alcoholic or an addict.

THIS.  Lots of wisdom here.  And agree with subsequent posts re: dividing the assets. 

Do it all at once, at the end.  Cash may be necessary to pay bills/take care of closing/attorney costs, etc. - you don't know that you'll actually have that cash or won't have to front the estate expenses if you use up the estate's cash.

Realize you may end up having to evict him if he doesn't play ball.  Or that he may burn up much of the estate's value with lawyers, refusals to do what's needed, failing to move out, etc. 

From what you've said, it sounds like your brother wants things that won't happen, and isn't likely to be happy no matter how this shakes out...which sets you up for failure before you begin.  (And that's before I read about him going to prison for abusing your mother.) 

I would want out of this as fast as possible and as squarely as possible.  It may even end up being worth it to pay another executor/third party to avoid any later lawsuits: you can pay someone else to be the bad guy and cover you, basically. 

First thing I would do is consult a competent, experienced attorney in this area in your location and lay it all out on the table.  Then extricate myself as soon as possible. 

I adamantly disagree with @AMandM - further entangling yourself does not end well.  You end up paying his taxes, etc., while he lives there rent-free.  Or worse, invites addicts/others into the house, which you're liable for.  You become his financial manager, and he's telling you right now that he already doesn't want you to have what's rightfully yours.  Then your only options are to evict him OR drop all claim to the house *and* the money *and* any more you've put into it. 

I've watched relatives go through this, and it never ends well...best to get out while there's a nice, clean break.  Your brother is telling you every way that he can that he can't manage relationships, money, and boundaries, and will end up hurting you financially and otherwise. 

Thinking about it, you may well come out ahead if you agreed to just split it: he takes the house free and clear, and you take the cash.  You get out, he gets to stay, and whatever happens from there is on him.  I'd figure you're going to pay an extra 10-20k just for the hassle either way.  But he may well not agree, so then you're stuck forcing him out with a partition sale, and that's OK. 

Word to the wise: I would assume I am getting $0 from this now, so I won't be as upset if he destroys the value of the estate and I eventually walk away with little or nothing.  Then, it's all upside, whether it's $5k or $30k.  Otherwise, you set yourself up to be upset when you feel like you're losing lots of cash (that isn't fully yours yet).  Just a thought...

FINate

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2019, 11:02:43 AM »
Labeling someone a loser because they don't have a wife or kids makes it personal rather than focusing on his behavior. It's like saying someone is a bad person rather than a person who makes bad decisions. Your issue is with his irresponsibility with finances so focus on that instead.

Agree with the others about not becoming financially entangled. You can't fix or control him, he's going to have to figure this stuff out on his own.

If you want to be generous and avoid a fight over the house you may consider taking the cash (what's left over after the estate is settled) and giving him the house. Yes, he'd be getting ~2/3 of the estate value, but it's not that much and given what you've described and the possible outcomes, getting ~$20k of cash is betting than getting zero if a legal battle unfolds (only the lawyers win in this case).

FINate

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2019, 11:05:26 AM »
So you are entitled to about 35k?  Why not just take the $27k cash and leave him the house?  Sounds like a lot of hassle for a future payment of an extra $8k.

Because he won't pay the taxes or do any repairs and will eventually get evicted at a tax sale and be homeless.

I missed that someone else mentioned this, and you responded. Again, you can't control what he does with the house. If this ends up happening it will hopefully be a learning experience for him.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2019, 11:22:52 AM »
Iíve seen it time and time again, nothing destroys siblings more than when the parents die and they fight over the house. Weirdest thing.

Iím in 2 minds: because you wrote he went to jail for abusing your mom, Iíd be inclined to do nothing for him that would help him. Iíd force a sale, split the money and go away. But, family is never so simple, and you clearly love the guy, so...

Depending on your own situation and not needing the house or money, Iíd take whatever from the house you want to remember your parents, then let him have the house and 5k and you take the rest of the cash. He gets a place to live, and some money but not enough to completely waste. If he ends up losing the house, thatís on him. You get less but you achieve your goal of helping him have somewhere to stay that isnít with you, and you get to be responsible with the money. You frame it as selling your $25k interest in the house for $9k of his cash.

Iíd give your brother those two options and let him pick.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2019, 11:38:54 AM »
Labeling someone a loser because they don't have a wife or kids makes it personal rather than focusing on his behavior.
I think you may have misinterpreted friedmmj's comment. The way I read it, friedmmj called their brother a financial loser that luckily does not have any dependents impacted by his financial loserness.

FINate

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2019, 11:42:28 AM »
Labeling someone a loser because they don't have a wife or kids makes it personal rather than focusing on his behavior.
I think you may have misinterpreted friedmmj's comment. The way I read it, friedmmj called their brother a financial loser that luckily does not have any dependents impacted by his financial loserness.

My mistake, apologies.

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2019, 11:59:56 AM »
Just going to add a +1 to the advice to reduce or eliminate financial entanglements. Some of the options above include attorney's fees. The cost of those fees and the head/heartache that may come with that should be considered. The cleanest resolution is likely to be worth any imbalance in how inheritance is split.

As a side note. I suspect that it was a difficult time when your brother was sent to jail for abusing your mom. I've had a similar situation in my family a few years ago. I just wanted to acknowledge that it must have been difficult and that it must make the current situation a bit more emotionally difficult. It is good to take care of family, but take care of yourself first in these situations even if a bit more difficult.

friedmmj

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2019, 12:17:03 PM »
Just going to add a +1 to the advice to reduce or eliminate financial entanglements. Some of the options above include attorney's fees. The cost of those fees and the head/heartache that may come with that should be considered. The cleanest resolution is likely to be worth any imbalance in how inheritance is split.

As a side note. I suspect that it was a difficult time when your brother was sent to jail for abusing your mom. I've had a similar situation in my family a few years ago. I just wanted to acknowledge that it must have been difficult and that it must make the current situation a bit more emotionally difficult. It is good to take care of family, but take care of yourself first in these situations even if a bit more difficult.

Thanks for saying that.  Yes, it was extremely difficult when that happened.  My Dad had recently passed away the year before and my Mom was left by herself to deal with my brother and his abusive crap and by the way he was stealing my Dad's life insurance money in the process.  It hurts just to think about it.  At one point, my Mom didn't have even have enough money in her checkbook to buy groceries.

The current house is not the one they were living in at that time (which was also my childhood home).  After my brother went to state prison, my Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and I moved her to an assisted living place near me and I had the pleasure of selling her house on my own which was 6 months of hell and also trying to get my Mom set up.    The current house is a small row home that I bought with a portion of the proceeds from an irrevocable trust that I set up with that was left from selling Mom's house so my asshole brother would have somewhere to live when he was released.  The rest went towards her care in assisted living for the past 3 years until she passed a couple weeks ago.

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2019, 12:18:12 PM »
In my mind, the best scenario would be for you to take the cash and give him the house.  If you feel generous you could give him enough cash to cover the first year or two of taxes. Probably the best way to make that happen would be to give him a choice of taking the house while you get the cash or selling the house and you both split the cash.  You could emphasize that he makes out better taking the house just because that's likely to be a longer term benefit to him.  (sounds like $35K cash wouldn't last long)

Your idea of keeping the house in his name with you taking out a lein could be a possibility, I don't know anything about setting something like that up.  You are definitely setting yourself up to lose out all or most of the money.  What if he drains the $28k with taxes, repairs, etc and then the house burns down with no insurance on it?  You may not have liability but you also didn't get any money.  This might be the most "helpful" thing you could do for him but it's also enabling his behavior.  Not much difference between this and you giving him $35K over the next 10 years.  Most people would say that doesn't really help him to make better decisions on his own.  That's a choice only you can make.  Hopefully he is reasonable and doesn't force you into a legal battle. 

partgypsy

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2019, 12:27:00 PM »
So you are entitled to about 35k?  Why not just take the $27k cash and leave him the house?  Sounds like a lot of hassle for a future payment of an extra $8k.
Because he won't pay the taxes or do any repairs and will eventually get evicted at a tax sale and be homeless.

From this and what you posted below, it sounds like any plans you make are just a way of delaying your brother's inevitable slide into homelessness. That is a hard place for you to be in, even if his position is in some respects self-inflicted and well-deserved. I'm sorry. 

In light of that, I would agree that settling the estate and disentangling yourself financially is the most prudent move. Unless perhaps, if I may be somewhat morbid: is there any prospect of making arrangements that would delay your brother's slide into homelessness to a point later than his death?  Depending on his age/health and the cost of maintaining the house, perhaps you could own it, he could live there rent-free, and the cash could be used to pay the taxes & insurance & upkeep. You would know better than us the likelihood of that working out--whether your brother is a big liability in terms of damage to the house, danger to others on the property, etc., whether he has enough income for expenses other than rent, etc.

No no no! This is bad advice! You can't save people from themselves, and I'm sure the poster doesn't want this to be her full time job.

After you get an appraisal of house; If the house appraises for more than the cash settlement, offer to give sibling the house, you keep cash. If the house appraises for less, the house+whatever amount of cash makes it 50/50.

If the sibling does not agree, have an estate attorney do the paperwork to sell the house, and you both split the proceeds 50/50, and wash your hands of it.

It's pretty clear what you have to do, but it won't be easy.

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2019, 12:36:53 PM »
Just going to add a +1 to the advice to reduce or eliminate financial entanglements. Some of the options above include attorney's fees. The cost of those fees and the head/heartache that may come with that should be considered. The cleanest resolution is likely to be worth any imbalance in how inheritance is split.

As a side note. I suspect that it was a difficult time when your brother was sent to jail for abusing your mom. I've had a similar situation in my family a few years ago. I just wanted to acknowledge that it must have been difficult and that it must make the current situation a bit more emotionally difficult. It is good to take care of family, but take care of yourself first in these situations even if a bit more difficult.

Thanks for saying that.  Yes, it was extremely difficult when that happened.  My Dad had recently passed away the year before and my Mom was left by herself to deal with my brother and his abusive crap and by the way he was stealing my Dad's life insurance money in the process.  It hurts just to think about it.  At one point, my Mom didn't have even have enough money in her checkbook to buy groceries.

The current house is not the one they were living in at that time (which was also my childhood home).  After my brother went to state prison, my Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and I moved her to an assisted living place near me and I had the pleasure of selling her house on my own which was 6 months of hell and also trying to get my Mom set up.    The current house is a small row home that I bought with a portion of the proceeds from an irrevocable trust that I set up with that was left from selling Mom's house so my asshole brother would have somewhere to live when he was released.  The rest went towards her care in assisted living for the past 3 years until she passed a couple weeks ago.
The details are different, but I empathize. It sounds like you did well by your Mom and handled the difficult things that you could. This thread has been a reminder to me to make another donation to a local women's shelter to help those in abusive situations that aren't fortunate enough to have family to support them. 

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2019, 01:10:11 PM »
Your brother thinks everything belongs to him.  The theft of the insurance proceeds is an excellent example.  You need to disentangle yourself from this mess.

In the criminal case against your brother, was the amount of money stolen included in the case?  Was there a criminal restitution order?  If so, it's worth consulting an attorney to see if the damages can be recovered from him in some way.  He may "owe" the estate the damages. 

What I would consider doing is probably not what most people would do.  If there is a criminal restitution order, I would have the estate evict him from the house and then I would sell the house.  Once the estate is all in cash, I would add the value of what he stole per the restitution order back into the amount.  I would subtract your half of the total estate made whole and give him whatever was left.  This is a lot of work and there would be costs, but it's the only way your brother will ever "feel" the impact of what he did.

If you want to take the easier way, have the house appraised to insure it's worth more than the cash.  Offer him the house or a partition case and see what he picks.  Then be done with him.

friedmmj

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2019, 01:50:16 PM »
Your brother thinks everything belongs to him.  The theft of the insurance proceeds is an excellent example.  You need to disentangle yourself from this mess.

In the criminal case against your brother, was the amount of money stolen included in the case?  Was there a criminal restitution order?  If so, it's worth consulting an attorney to see if the damages can be recovered from him in some way.  He may "owe" the estate the damages. 

What I would consider doing is probably not what most people would do.  If there is a criminal restitution order, I would have the estate evict him from the house and then I would sell the house.  Once the estate is all in cash, I would add the value of what he stole per the restitution order back into the amount.  I would subtract your half of the total estate made whole and give him whatever was left.  This is a lot of work and there would be costs, but it's the only way your brother will ever "feel" the impact of what he did.

If you want to take the easier way, have the house appraised to insure it's worth more than the cash.  Offer him the house or a partition case and see what he picks.  Then be done with him.

I presented evidence of his theft of the insurance money to the county prosecutor but he declined to file charges (longer story with that).

I've decided to offer him the house plus $4k in cash and a release of any future claims.  Waiting to see if he accepts.  This will prevent the costs of an appraisal and hopefully can be done with minimal legal costs.

Thanks to all for your advice.  Much appreciated!

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2019, 01:58:06 PM »
I think you have made a well reasoned and sensible decision.  The most important result will be that you will be done with him.

friedmmj

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2019, 02:01:30 PM »
I think you have made a well reasoned and sensible decision.  The most important result will be that you will be done with him.
Maybe from a financial point of view I will be done.  To be truly done I would have to change my phone number and move to a different state (half kidding).

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2019, 03:21:51 PM »
I think you have made a well reasoned and sensible decision.  The most important result will be that you will be done with him.
Maybe from a financial point of view I will be done.  To be truly done I would have to change my phone number and move to a different state (half kidding).

Screen your calls and get a video doorbell...  I do believe he will be back for more.

partgypsy

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2019, 09:43:19 AM »
Yes, I worry for you. I don't know if there is a way you can show him your will, and that nothing goes to him. Only partly kidding.

Lemonhead

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2019, 12:19:20 PM »
In general, people don't value what they haven't worked for.  My 40 year old nephew that "bought" my sisters house with her inheritance is a shining example.  At one point he had $135k house with no mortgage, maybe $40k cash and two cars, all inherited.  After all that was gone his brother bought him another car.  He now owns a dog and a sofa not much else as near as I can tell.  I longer speak to him but I see him around town occasionally walking the dog.  He lives in a former motel and walks to work at rotating pizza shops in town that need him the worst at the time.  You really can't save people from themselves.

partgypsy

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2019, 01:03:40 PM »
In general, people don't value what they haven't worked for.  My 40 year old nephew that "bought" my sisters house with her inheritance is a shining example.  At one point he had $135k house with no mortgage, maybe $40k cash and two cars, all inherited.  After all that was gone his brother bought him another car.  He now owns a dog and a sofa not much else as near as I can tell.  I longer speak to him but I see him around town occasionally walking the dog.  He lives in a former motel and walks to work at rotating pizza shops in town that need him the worst at the time.  You really can't save people from themselves.

that's sad

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2019, 07:02:07 PM »
I think you have made a well reasoned and sensible decision.  The most important result will be that you will be done with him.
Maybe from a financial point of view I will be done.  To be truly done I would have to change my phone number and move to a different state (half kidding).

Screen your calls and get a video doorbell...  I do believe he will be back for more.

Great call on the offer/proposal.  Like @Glenstache I sympathize with you greatly. 

I was going to mention this, but in light of the bolded quote above and subsequent discussion, I'm going to positively endorse/recommend it, as I think it will help you feel better about any/all future decisions you have to make regarding your brother, as well as give you even more of a framework for thinking about it: see this book.

TomTX

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2019, 07:11:26 PM »
So you are entitled to about 35k?  Why not just take the $27k cash and leave him the house?  Sounds like a lot of hassle for a future payment of an extra $8k.

Because he won't pay the taxes or do any repairs and will eventually get evicted at a tax sale and be homeless.

Do you want to babysit a grown man for the rest of your life and have him be a constant emotional and cash sink while also sucking up your time to deal with his drama?

Serious question.

AlexMar

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2019, 07:19:29 PM »
Your brother thinks everything belongs to him.  The theft of the insurance proceeds is an excellent example.  You need to disentangle yourself from this mess.

In the criminal case against your brother, was the amount of money stolen included in the case?  Was there a criminal restitution order?  If so, it's worth consulting an attorney to see if the damages can be recovered from him in some way.  He may "owe" the estate the damages. 

What I would consider doing is probably not what most people would do.  If there is a criminal restitution order, I would have the estate evict him from the house and then I would sell the house.  Once the estate is all in cash, I would add the value of what he stole per the restitution order back into the amount.  I would subtract your half of the total estate made whole and give him whatever was left.  This is a lot of work and there would be costs, but it's the only way your brother will ever "feel" the impact of what he did.

If you want to take the easier way, have the house appraised to insure it's worth more than the cash.  Offer him the house or a partition case and see what he picks.  Then be done with him.

I presented evidence of his theft of the insurance money to the county prosecutor but he declined to file charges (longer story with that).

I've decided to offer him the house plus $4k in cash and a release of any future claims.  Waiting to see if he accepts.  This will prevent the costs of an appraisal and hopefully can be done with minimal legal costs.

Thanks to all for your advice.  Much appreciated!

The fact that you feel the need to make such a ridiculous offer to your brother is all the evidence you need to run away, fast.  Hopefully he takes your outrageously generous offer and you can get the heck away from him.  If not, force the sale of the house and split what is left.  Bigger legal fees?  Oh well, bro, I guess your half is a little bit less now.  Good luck.

undercover

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2019, 10:07:55 PM »
I think you've received some great advice, particularly from Another Reader.

I do admire OP's tenacity to give his brother the benefit of the doubt regardless of his behavior. It's a fine line to walk between helping someone who actually needs to fall further in order to change and helping them because they say they're trying to change. It's difficult to determine whether or not and how much someone needs help. Either the way the person you're trying to help is in a bad situation so doing something is never a despicable act. If we were all in full control of our lives, no one would choose OP's brother's situation.

Honestly, my motto in life is that if you can help even one person then you've done a great job with your time alive. To be fair, none of us are that far from things crashing down. You just can't let it bring you down - and that's why I definitely think you've made a good decision.

K-ice

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2019, 10:33:53 PM »
Your offer sounds good. It may be wise to get an appraisal so he canít come back for more.

Kay-Ell

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Re: Question for you real estate folks
« Reply #34 on: February 21, 2019, 10:20:07 AM »
Since heís not my brother and I donít love him, and since I think stealing oneís fatherís life insurance while abusing oneís elderly mother is a despicable act. I would personally offer him the house and keep the cash. Then Iíd use a portion of the cash to buy up the tax liens on the house when he inevitably goes into default. In a few years Iíd foreclose and evict him. But Iím feeling especially mean spirited after everything I just read. The choice that OP made is far more generous.