Inherited a house 50/50 - Disagreement with other inheritee. Need advice

Discussion in 'Wills, inheritances and gifts' started by Saorla, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. Saorla

    Saorla Guest


    My first post on this site so not 100% sure where to plonk this question. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I have just inherited a 50% share in my deceased parent's house. The probate has just been granted and we are just waiting on my deceased Mother's solicitor to gather together the assets (bank account/savings etc) and pay off the liabilities.
    I am keen to sell the house within the next 6 months and am willing to decrease the asking price by a fair and reasonable amount in order for a quick sale. My sibling - who inherited the other 50% share would prefer to hold off on selling and rent the property out for a few years as they are sure the Irish Property market will boom once again. There is a willingness to sell now but would prefer to only put it on the market for a short time and refuses to drop the asking price less than 50K off the initial asking price.

    There was a Will - which I have witnessed and it lists the estate being shared equally between the both of us.
    A relative was appointed as Executor at the time of Will writing.

    My questions are:

    If the house does not sell (for even the reduced amount my sibling has agree to go to) and yet still they cannot afford to buy me out (at a fair and compromised amount less than the standard 50% split) - what will happen?

    Can I be forced into renting the property by my sibling?
    Can the current 'Executor of the Will' have any authoritative say on what happens if we cannot reach an agreement?

    I have been informed that the "Executor has the power to decide and retains that power until the Estate is administered (ie all assets gathered in, liabilities paid and the balance paid to beneficiaries in accordance with their entitlements and apart from a sale of the house it is only if the house is transferred to the 2 of you that her role would end"
    I was somewhat confused by this if - surely if the Will requests the estate be split 50/50 - there are no 'if's" ?

    Lastly - what is the situation in regards to my sibling being forced to reduce the asking price in order for the property to sell?
    As I have been informed I will have to accept the property being rented if the worse comes to the worst and the house does not sell for the lowest price my sibling has outlined.

    Any help on this matter would be most helpful. Tks.

    *Edited to add - I am not currently living in Ireland. I am on the other side of the globe. I am planning to appoach an Independent Solicitor on this matter to represent me, but keen to know if anyone has any info to add.
  2. McCrack

    McCrack Frequent Poster

    Clarify firstly whether you are a witness to your mother's will? You did say you are but just confirm this again....

    I presume you meant witness as in seen it but not actually witness it in the legal sense?
  3. Saorla

    Saorla Guest


    Sorry yes, i meant I have been sent a copy of my mum's will by her solicitor last week after the probate was cleared, I also saw it a few years back after it was written. (I did so years back, as it was my sibling who helped my mother write said Will as my mother was suffering from a serious mental illness and needed to do so whilst she was corpus mentis).
  4. mf1

    mf1 Frequent Poster

    "As I have been informed I will have to accept the property being rented if the worse comes to the worst and the house does not sell for the lowest price my sibling has outlined."

    Who said that?

    My view is that you should call for the property to be vested in your joint names and that you then negotiate with sibling. If you cannot agree on a mutually acceptable way forward then you, yourself as joint owner, through your solicitor, issue Court proceedings to have the Court decide by seeking an order for partition and sale.You will incur legal costs and it is unlikely that you and your sibling will ever speak again.

    Thats the bit that gets the clients - I don't want to be the one to propel this process, I don't want to sue my own sibling, I don't to incur legal costs, I want the magic fairy to wave a wand!

  5. dereko1969

    dereko1969 Frequent Poster

    Even with a serious reduction in the price sought for the house, the house may well struggle to sell given the current state of the market. If the house is in a rentable location renting it may make more sense - steady rental income for both of you, possible increase in value of house in a couple of years and most importantly continued good relations with your sibling. Obviously if you are really in dire need of the money asap then you could follow the procedure in mf1's post and never speak to your sibling again.
  6. Homer

    Homer Frequent Poster

    While I can understand that you want to get access to the proceeds of the house, I can also understand your sibling not wishing to sell in a depressed market.

    From what you've said above, it sounds as if your sibling is showing some flexibility, but not as much as you would like. Can I suggest a possible compromise approach?

    Let's assume that you both agree on the minimum price that each of you is prepared to accept for your half of the house and that, for illustration purposes, you are prepared to accept €200k for your half, but your sibling wants a minimum of €300k. In that case, I presume you would be prepared to allow your sibling to buy you out for €200k?

    Assuming they are not in a position (or are unwilling) to do this, would you be prepared to sell the house for €500k (assume you can find a buyer at that price), with you receiving €200k from the proceeds and your sibling €300k? If so, then both of you would get what you were looking for.

    I appreciate that there may be some tax issues (gift tax?) with this approach, but it may be possible to structure it in a way that avoids creating an additional tax liability.

  7. murphaph

    murphaph Frequent Poster

    That's bloody good common sense.
  8. Saorla

    Saorla Guest

    The house has just gone on the market at 680K. My sibling is convinced in 5 years time the house will be worth 800-850K and therefore wants to hold onto it. I would be willing to sell the house for the lowest figure of 580K, my sibling on the other-hand will not let the house sell for less than 630K. It has been on the market for the past 2 weeks and she now has asked me to agree to rent it out from Jan '09 through until 2010. I would have expected the house to be on the market for at least 4-6 months. My sister on the other-hand thought it would sell in the 2 weeks leading up to Xmas...

    As mentioned above, I do not live in Ireland, nor ever will I again. I live on the opposite side of the globe and being in a situation where the house is rented is not one I want to be part of - there are numerous reasons for this. My sister and I do not exactly have the smoothest of relationships at the best of times and I just want a clean break and to move on with our lives. I also have been out of work for the best part of a year and am borrowing money every month in order to stay afloat. My immediate needs are different to hers and I am not at liberty to hang around for 8 years in order to be in a situation to better my life in the hope the Irish Proprty Market returns back to where it was 5 years ago.

    I am willing to compromise and understand that we are both interested in different avenues and have no issues in my sibling buying me out at a price in or around the 270K mark. I feel this is a fair amount. She says this is too much for her to borrow and I will just have to get used to the house being rented as she will not let her inheritance sell for nothing.

    Of course I do not want to 'never speak to my sibling again' and will avoid at all costs this happening, I do not however accept I will not be forced into doing something I do not want. This is a 2 way street and some level of compromise will have to be reached without the necessity for it to turn nasty.

    On a side note - if we sell the house now and invest the cash in a term deposit at between 4-5%, in 5 years time there will be more cash in the bank than if we had kept the house and rented it out.
    I'll admit I'm no expert but it's highly unlikely that the Irish housing market will ever get back to the highs that is was 5 years ago.
  9. Homer

    Homer Frequent Poster

    From the situation as described by you, it does not sound as if your sister is being totally unreasonable. She has said that she would prefer to keep the house as an investment, but has agreed to drop the price in order to accommodate your wishes. Where you disagree is on the extent to which you are prepared to drop the price.

    If we go back to the example in my earlier post, it seems to me that there is plenty of room for compromise here. You're saying that you will settle for receiving €270k, your sister wants at least €315k (half of €630k). That means that you will both get what you're looking for (or at any rate what you're prepared to settle for) if you can get €585k or more for the house.

    If you get more than €585k, you can split the balance between you. I know it may not seem fair to you that you would receive €45k less for your half share of the house than your sister would receive for her half share. However, the fact is that you want to sell the house now, while she wants to hold on to it until prices go back up. The suggested difference reflects your different wishes.

    Indeed, if you haven't mentioned a figure of €270k to your sister, you could stick to half of €580k as being the amount you will accept. That would give a trigger point of €605k for achieving a successful sale and the extra amount going to your sister would be €25k instead of €45k.

    An alternative approach would be to agree that she will get no less than €315k for her half share and that you will accept whatever balance you can sell the house for. That would leave you in total control of how much you are prepared to settle for.

    By adopting this approach, you could avoid things turning nasty and avoid running up large legal bills.

  10. Saorla

    Saorla Guest

    Homer - many thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to respond and will take your comments on board.
  11. MANTO

    MANTO Frequent Poster

    Due to recent events my mother has found herself in the same position BUT her brother resides in the house and has done for a number of years.

    He is not willing to sell the house or compromise in any way - is there a Legal route she can take?

    Any replies would be greatly appreciated.
  12. csirl

    csirl Frequent Poster

    This statement seems a bit inconsistent with the rest of your posts which suggest that you have not yet agreed to accept being a the joint owner of a house instead of accepting the cash value. My answers below assume that the executor has not yet sold the house or had it vested in the beneficiaries.


    The Executor is obliged to sell the house and give each of you half the proceeds unless both of you agree otherwise. The default position in the event of no agreement is sell the house and give the cash to the beneficiaries.

    In laymans terms, this means that the Executor has the full authority to sell the house and divide the proceeds between the beneficiaries unless all beneficiaries agree otherwise. His/her role ceases when the money is given to the beneficiaries or (in cases where all beneficiaries are in agreement to keep the house), the house is transferred to the beneficiaries.

    Neither you nor your sibling have any legal role in setting the sale price of the house. It is the executors role to sell the house and get the best price they can achieve within a reasonable timeframe (typically no more than 12 months). If the highest price that the executor can achieve is lower than the beneficiaries expectations, then thats life.

    The executor sells the house, not the beneficiaries.

    The above is a very cold legalistic opinion that does not take into account family relationships. On a personal level, you would be better telling your sister that keeping the house is just not an option for you and so you will be going with the default option of getting half the value of the house from the estate. You could tell her that you would be willing to let her make a reasonable offer to the executor for your half within a reasonable timeframe (say 3 months?) - possibly even slightly lower than the market rate as a favour - so that she can acquire the house before the executor is forced to put in on the market. If she is so confident in her speculation that the price will go up over the next few years, then there is no reason why she shouldnt accept this concession. If she's not, then there may be other reasons why she wants to hold onto the house including sentimental attachment to where she grew up (assuming this was once your family home as kids) - some people have difficulty letting go after the death of a parent.
  13. newtogame

    newtogame Registered User

    tax issues on inheriting Dads house

    My fathers estate is divided between 3 siblings.There is a house and some money but we should not be liable for inheritance tax as the value of the estate (bar the property market booming)will be less than our exemptions.As we would like the asets to be distributed as soon as possible my question is that instead of selling the house asap if we wait a few months and have the house vested in our names do we incur any additional tax liabilities when we go to sell it later?Thanks for any help.