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Thread: When inheritance becomes a burden

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    When inheritance becomes a burden

    My mom inheirited a house when her mom passed away several years ago. Since that time she's rented it to a few different people. The renter in there now has been there 11 years. All bills paid on time and no real issues. She lives 700 miles away.

    Last year she got a phone call from the neighbors who told her that another couple had moved in with her renter and had begun to junk up the place. Mom sent them a nastygram and told them to keep it clean and that the other couple had to move out. I offered to go inspect the place since I'm an hour away. She said not to worry about it because everything was paid up.

    Fast forward to late fall this year - mom had an appraiser go by to look at the house because she was doing some estate planning. He reported back some with very bad news. The other couple was still there and he could not complete the appraisal because the house was so cluttered. Mom fired off another letter to the tenant (late Oct / early Nov) and told them she would be by to inspect the property when she came up to visit us this Christmas.

    She & I went there on Friday after Christmas. The other couple was still there (and been there for a few years) and the place was a disaster. I surprised we haven't seen them on the show Hoaders. There was a single path through the house. In the bedroom you couldd only see about a foot of the floor and the tenant said she climbed over stuff to get in and out of bed. The front yard had 3 mowers and a refrigerator on it. I'm really surprised the city had not gotten involved yet.

    I'm going back in mid-january to inspect again. The other couple has to be gone and the place has to be cleaned up from all the debris. If that is not the case, eviction begins. I have a feeling this isn't going to fun to deal with.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    A former neighbor of ours had three siblings and when dear old dad passed away he left behind a somewhat sizable fortune....but also left behind a majorly screwed up will which had been amended several times and had hand-written notes of unclear authorship in the margins.

    Anywho, the three siblings had up until then a relatively peaceful rapport with one another. They won't speak to one another now.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
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    split (with great prejudice) from RTDNTOTO7


    A former neighbor of ours had three siblings and when dear old dad passed away he left behind a somewhat sizable fortune....but also left behind a majorly screwed up will which had been amended several times and had hand-written notes of unclear authorship in the margins.

    Anywho, the three siblings had up until then a relatively peaceful rapport with one another. They won't speak to one another now.
    That's why me & my two brothers have been encouraging my parents to take a lot of S.K.I. (spend kids' inheritance) trips. All three of us are financially comfortable, so as far as we're concerned all we want to see is enough to cover funeral expenses and we each have a handful of sentimental things we want to hang onto (not necessarily financially valuable).

    However, I can at least say that they have a good will in place that is structured well & treats everyone fairly. Both my mom and dad experienced parents dying with wills that were not sufficiently updated, were improperly executed or were confusing. They've been very open with us about everything because they don't want us to have any problems later. The three of us get along well, and my parents want it to stay that way after they've passed.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    When my wife's mother died, she willed her "manufactured home" to all three of her children. The alcoholic brother who lived with her lives there. My wife is the oldest and was executor for the estate. That's why we make a trip to CA each year to check on the property, the brother, and unresolved estate issues. I've told the wife that her mother was determined to bankrupt us.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  5. #5
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    My wife comes from a fairly wealthy family and when her grandfather died, he left each of his 6 children and all of the grandchildren a sizable sum but the two youngest had some sort of falling out over some of the sentimental items that they each wanted and they no longer go out of their way to communicate with each other (but at least they are cordial on the rare occasions that they are at the same gathering). The youngest daughter was supposedly also upset because she figured she got shafted since she didn't have any kids that would inherit anything from the estate unlike all her brothers and sisters.

    My wife's parents also have a considerable amount of money and valuable property (independent of what they got from the grandpa) and my father-in-law has been very up front that every single thing goes to us. I tell my wife that she's lucky that she is an only child not because of the money she stands to inherit but because there will not be any brothers or sisters to argue with about who gets the dining room table or the pictures or mom's old jewelry...

    When my sister's father-in-law died he left them a vacation house on an island in the middle of the water between Michigan and Ontario. They used it for a few years but eventually had to sell it when they upkeep became too much for them to handle. The straw that broke the camel's back was when they had to replace about $150k worth of seawall. The decision as to whether to replace the seawall or sell was pretty easy.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    We'll see with my parents. They have a decent retirement income/estate and my siblings and I (3 of us) will be able split what's left fairly easily. My sister will likely get as much of the "stuff" as she wants, I will likely just want a reasonable portion of any "cash" that is left (accounts, house sale proceeds, etc) and my brother (more specifically his wife) will likely get a larger share, because they live in the same city and she will likely be "stuck" with helping my parents in their old age.

    I already got the family heirloom I wanted - my great-grandparent's dining/everyday table they purchased when they immigrated with half their family (my grandmother was 5) from Germany to northern Michigan in 1914. The table it officially on it's fourth generation in my family and I have instilled the "value" of the table to my three boys.
    Last edited by mendelman; 31 Dec 2012 at 3:27 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  7. #7
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    The best thing you can do with inherited houses/property is dump it as fast as you can. My grandmother died a few years back and the property went to her three kids. She lived about two blocks from me (I bought the home there to keep an eye out on my grandparents). Well this was about the time the housing bubble burst. They were convinced they could get 2x's for it than what it was worth. I told them to wholesale the thing and be done with it. They were too smart for me and spent thousands getting it up to code, and also had to keep insurance and pay the taxes on it. They finally sold it 3 years after grandma died for about 1/4 what they expected. They were out time and money fixing it up and keeping the taxes and insurance up to date.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Likewise, please make sure your affairs are in order and have that uncomfortable talk with your parents/grandparents to make sure there is a proper and legal will that spells out their wishes or that assets are set up in a way that they pass to their desired beneficiary. My uncle passed in August with a will that was not properly executed.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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