A client called me today and told me he and his siblings were about to inherit a $500,000 home from their mother. She is 87 years old and unfortunately about to pass away soon.
The mother had told him she wanted her youngest daughter to be able to live in her home for at least a few years after her death. The trouble is she has not taken the time to create an estate plan to make sure her wishes are followed. As things stand, there will be 5 siblings inheriting this parcel of real estate. There is no plan in place. To make things more complicated, some of the siblings don't get along very well, and the two that do get along have spouses who don't get along. While the mother has made her wishes known, there is disaster looming for this family since she hasn't taken the time to create the proper legal framework to make sure her wishes are followed. There is no guarantee the youngest daughter will get to live in the house. What is probably going to happen is that the siblings will argue over what to do and as a result, relationships will crumble. I hate to be so pessimistic, but I've seen this scenario play out so many times before. If you want your wishes followed, please take the time to create solid legal documents.
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