Sharing an inherited home with siblings can become complicated.
Siblings do not always share well.
While this is often obvious when they are children, many brothers and sisters are no better when they become adults.
Even those who have learned to share well may struggle occasionally in adulthood due to circumstances.
Some children grow up, and others keep on having more birthdays.
According to a recent NASDAQ article titled “What to Do When Inheriting a House With Siblings,” even the most loving and generous siblings may find it challenging to share an inherited home.
When it comes to estate planning, transferring a home can be a complicated process.
A house is typically one of the most valuable assets a person can own.
It also requires consistent maintenance.
When multiple people inherit the home together, decisions and actions for upkeep can be delayed.
Commonly, when siblings inherit a home, each is entitled to an equal portion of the property.
This means they all have equal responsibility in managing the affairs.
Several actions must be taken quickly upon transferring the property to ensure it is secure and maintained.
These include transferring the utility services to the name of one or all siblings, forwarding the mail with the United States Postal Service to one of your homes, sifting through the belongings of the parents stored in the home, ensuring maintenance and repairs are addressed, updating the payment for the homeowners insurance, and paying outstanding bills, fees to Home Owners Associations, or property taxes to the government.
Communicating who among the siblings will be responsible for these chores can minimize the stress and complications associated with jointly inheriting a home.
What can siblings do if they no longer want to share the inherited house?
Several options are available.
Sometimes siblings are already established in their own homes and neighborhoods.
Uprooting a family to move into the house may be unrealistic.
Other times the home is in another state or has become a fixer-upper.
Whatever the reasons, some siblings may choose to sell the home and divide the profits equally.
If one of the adult children finds the home perfect for their needs, this sibling can purchase the home from the others.
To do so, the property must be professionally appraised to determine how much the purchasing sibling will need to pay the other siblings for their shares in the home.
A home can also be a good source of additional income.
If you and your siblings are not ready to pull the trigger regarding a sibling buyout or sale of the home, you can rent the home and serve together as landlords.
You will need to discuss how rent will be collected and maintenance handled.
In some cases, hiring a property management company to provide the experience and support for renting the home may be beneficial.
Although inheriting a home requires more work than dividing a bank account, siblings who work well together will find they are far less overwhelmed.
Reference: NASDAQ (April 12, 2023) “What to Do When Inheriting a House With Siblings”