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Inheriting A House With Siblings: What to do next?


Inheriting a house with siblings can be a blessing and a curse. More often than not there will be problems with siblings when settling the estate. With that in mind, it is crucial for all parties involved to know the inheritance rights of siblings. It is also beneficial to know what steps to take when inheriting a property with brothers and sisters.


Find out who is the executor of the estate

One person will be responsible for the estate, it won’t necessarily be one of your siblings. This individual is usually named as the executor on the will itself. However, if a sibling is responsible, their role doesn’t diminish the beneficiaries’ right to the property. The executor simply handles the probate application and divides the estate accordingly.

What does the role of an executor of an estate legally entail?

  • Collecting the assets
  • Settling all liabilities
  • Paying required tax
  • Accurately distributing the estate

You do not have to accept this position. If that is the case, just fill out a renunciation form. First, consider the time commitment and emotional strain it may have on you. The process can stretch over many months. Next, confirm the property will be of profit once all debt and liabilities have been settled. It is not advisable to apply for a grant of representation if the estate is insolvent.


Decide how each sibling will legally own the property

Once you have read the will, you may find all the siblings are heirs to the estate. Shortly after discovering you are inheriting a house with siblings, you should choose how the property will be distributed on paper. Your choice may be dictated by the will.

Two types of joint ownership:

1) Joint tenants

As joint tenants, everybody will have equal rights to the entire property. If one sibling dies, the property stays in possession of the remaining siblings. The final sibling can then pass on the property to an individual of their choosing.

2) Tenants in common
As tenants in common, everyone has a set share of the property and the percentage doesn’t have to be equal. Each sibling can pass on their share to their children or another person of choice. For that reason, tenants in common is a popular choice between siblings.



Photo Credit: Africa Studio


Try to reach a joint decision on the property’s outcome

Inheritance issues with siblings are common after the death of a parent. After all, everyone responds differently to grief. For some, the family home may encapsulate good memories and carry sentimental value. Others will find the property merely resurfaces the pain.

However, inheritance issues with siblings can lead to nasty fall-outs and litigation. It is best to resolve your inheritance concerns without paying out expensive court fees. For this reason, try to remain open-minded and understanding when consulting your siblings.


What happens if a sibling is living in the house?

When inheriting a house with siblings, everyone on the will has a right to remain in the house.  There is a specific ground that could enable you to apply for an exclusion order from the courts. These orders are not handed out rashly and normally only apply under circumstances of physical abuse.


Buying out sibling from inherited house UK

Inheriting a house with siblings demands excellent communication and often, compromise. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. For example, one person may want to sell and the other to retain the property. If this is the case, it is possible to buy out siblings from the inherited house.

How to buy out siblings from an inherited property:

  1. Get a fair valuation for free
  2. If desired, hire a solicitor
  3. Agree on a set price
  4. Arrange how the payment will be made (i.e. through a mortgage, rental agreement or cash)
  5. Consult a solicitor to ensure all agreements are legally binding
  6. Pay any required tax


Can you force the sale of a property?

In most cases, everyone who jointly owns the property must reach a unified decision to sell. However, some situations can lead to the forced sale of a property. For this to happen, the sibling wishing to sell would need to write a convincing argument to each of the legal owners. Equally, time for a response is required. Then the sibling can request a court to order a sale.


What if everyone agrees to sell?

Congratulations! We know reaching a cohesive decision regarding an inherited house with siblings can be a challenge. Selling an inherited house requires a slightly different process to a regular home but is still straightforward. This is particularly the case if you choose a home buying company who can take care of all the complicated work on your behalf.


Feature Image: Beeboys / Shutterstock

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