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Old 07-04-2020, 10:39 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
So then how could it be worth $388k today?

Even if a fixed up house was worth $175k in 2010 it would have to appreciate 8.3% annually for 10 years in a row to be worth $388k today... it just doesn't seem sensible.
Sweat equity and 10 years of appreciation? Seattle area.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:42 AM   #22
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If no LLC was created, you are probably tenants in common. As Old Shooter recommends, you really need to talk to a lawyer. Probably one in the state where the property and your sister are located.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:44 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by klucich View Post
I guess I used the wrong terminology, but she should have known what I was asking:

"Is the estate at risk if you get sued? We really need to move forward with getting the estate legalized. No, estate is closed."

It was my understanding that since 3rd sibling did not sign the LLC papers, there was no LLC, therefore sister opened a checking account in her own name. Said she had record of everything spent and money that goes through that account and could provide details, just ask. I trusted her because she is a CPA. 3rd sibling wants out of this, wants the two of us to split his and is now asking how he can do so legally. Actually I am confused, but apparently since the estate is closed, there is now a LLC? Ugh.
This whole situation stinks to high heaven. Negligible information. A CPA sibling that has questionable finances? Follow OldShooter's advice and go in with third sibling to hire a lawyer to get you out.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:48 AM   #24
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Wow about the house situation.
If it were me, I'd have a tough time with a moocher taking advantage of you and your sister regardless of any 'advantage' of someone occupying the residence. Like you said, you paid rent and now you have a sense of value for the cost of things. This nephew doesn't. Nor does he have any respect for his mother, let alone you, to take advantage of this situation. At the very least, I would have had him responsible for the rent from day one just so he could see, on paper, the value of 'free' rent.

But that's just me.

I would never consider a loan to either sister or nephew based on their past financial management for the home or it's rent value. You will only be disappointed or worse, likely to cause a rift in the family. And who needs that, especially over money?
I'd get out of the house as an asset as soon as possible. Either have sis buy you out or sell it and split the equity. What you do with the profits would be another topic, but I'm sure there are ways to shelter it somehow.

As far as taking SS, that'll depend on how you liquidate your share of the house you inherited and how soon that can happen.

Prepare for some hard feelings from your sis and nephew. Both are used to this arrangement and anything other than you just gifting your interest is going to be seen in their eyes as a negative. You might approach sis by asking her how she would like to see this come out. Just let her know you need to convert this asset to something more liquid and what her thoughts are on how to do this. Very non-adversarial. At least at first. If she's unreasonable (defined as taking YOUR best interests to heart), then just turn it over to your representative, a lawyer or your financial planner.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:54 AM   #25
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Hire a attorney and sell the house. This has gone on for too long.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:55 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
Sell your half of the house to your sister at fair market value.
While I would also suggest OP find a way to get out of any ownership position in this inherited house, expecting to get half of today's fair market value is not a reasonable expectation or a likely outcome IMHO.

OP has owned half the house for a decade. Her sister has been managing the house. Her sister's son has been living there for the past five years with a questionable "rent" situation. (His sporadic payments might be hard to prove and a claim he's been a "house-sitter" and has been adding sweat equity to his mother's $50k remodeling investment could be made.) Bottom line: sister could reasonably claim she's been paying for remodeling and covering the other expenses for years with no/little offsetting income.

Timeliness is a factor and lack of it may cost OP some money now. It's been ten years since she should have acted and since then has apparently been complacent in the situation.

In her position, I'd ask for 50% of today's fair market value as an opener. But I'd be prepared to eventually accept a lower offer from sister if she comes forward with some justifications regarding expenses she's covered and the lack of income in recent years. Plus, of course, some fee for managing and being responsible for the property.

If OP is willing to accept an offer from her sister for some amount less than a full 50% of today's fair market value, it solves a lot of issues.

1. OP gets some money.
2. OP is out of the complications involved in being a partial owner of a distant property complicated by family dynamics.
3. Sister is happy because she thinks she got a fair deal and, who knows, perhaps the family situation will evolve to something at least neutral and not an eternal seething hate situation.
4. The fate of the nephew is delivered to his mother with no involvement from his aunt (OP).
5. OP's tone suggests she is not out to vindictively hurt her sister or her son. Demanding a full 50% of today's fair market value without regard to the past decade of events might open a can of worms regarding taxes and other legalities far beyond OP's intentions.

There are different ways OP could proceed. Ask for a full 50% of today's fair market value (as you suggest) and negotiate down. Or, perhaps, present a generous/kind situation by offering to sell at a discount to "help the family." For example: "I know my nephew is out of work due to COVID-19 issues. I'm in need of cash as I go into retirement. Could we solve both problems by transferring my half of the house to you for $X?"

I'm unsure what $X might be. Perhaps 50% of fair market value at the time of the inheritance? Call the intervening decade a "break even?"
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:02 AM   #27
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Agree with others, I would go in with your brother to hire a lawyer and legally get the estate/house, etc. divided equally and be done with it.
It sounds as if your sister has not been honest about the information from what you have written.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:04 AM   #28
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Wow about the house situation.
If it were me, I'd have a tough time with a moocher taking advantage of you and your sister regardless of any 'advantage' of someone occupying the residence. Like you said, you paid rent and now you have a sense of value for the cost of things. This nephew doesn't. Nor does he have any respect for his mother, let alone you, to take advantage of this situation. At the very least, I would have had him responsible for the rent from day one just so he could see, on paper, the value of 'free' rent.

But that's just me.

I would never consider a loan to either sister or nephew based on their past financial management for the home or it's rent value. You will only be disappointed or worse, likely to cause a rift in the family. And who needs that, especially over money?
I'd get out of the house as an asset as soon as possible. Either have sis buy you out or sell it and split the equity. What you do with the profits would be another topic, but I'm sure there are ways to shelter it somehow.

As far as taking SS, that'll depend on how you liquidate your share of the house you inherited and how soon that can happen.

Prepare for some hard feelings from your sis and nephew. Both are used to this arrangement and anything other than you just gifting your interest is going to be seen in their eyes as a negative. You might approach sis by asking her how she would like to see this come out. Just let her know you need to convert this asset to something more liquid and what her thoughts are on how to do this. Very non-adversarial.
I have asked, repeatedly, for input from her and nephew on what we can do to make everyone happy. Not looking to remove him under the circumstances, but I can't seem to get any answers from her. I get responses like "Like I told you before, I'll check when I have time..." or every one of my questions is answered with another question.

This is the list of questions I sent and got some answers to:

As I told you the other day, I will give you more information when I have more time. Here is some. The estate was closed in 2012 before the house was moved into the llc. Not trying to be evasive, just trying to catch up.

On June 30, 2020, at 1:38 PM, I wrote:

>I was thinking the other day, that we havenít heard any updates regarding the estate for several years now and I was wondering how things were going. I have some questions and I will try to be specific. I feel somewhat left in the dark about being involved in the affairs of the estate, but that is my fault for not asking. I hope all is OK.
>
>1) Is J(nephew) still renting the house? He is living there, not paying rent at the moment.

>2) How much rent does he pay and does he pay any of the utilities in addition to that? He lost his job just before the shutdown so is not paying rent right now. I have been paying the utilities myself since he moved in since any renter would pay their own utilities. He paid rent sporadically before that he lost his job.
>
>3) How much are the bills for the house that the renter does not pay? I will give you those numbers later. I have used any rent income to cover taxes and insurance and repairs.
>
>4) Water and sewer? Later, not an expense of the llc
>
>5) Electric? Later, not an expense of the llc
>
>6) Garbage? Later, not an expense of the llc.
>
>7) Taxes? 3635/year
>
>8) Homeowners Insurance? Later
>
>9) Is there a deposit being made into the estate account to meet annual tax and insurance payments? Rent income goes into the llc checking account that I opened in my name or I move money into there to pay expenses.
>
>10) Is there any after expenses profit going to repay construction costs to you? No
>
>11) If so, how much of the money have you made back? I am assuming that is one reason you are collecting rent, in addition to having a wonderful tenant. will give you a full accounting later.
>
>12) I remember you were saying you may have to take out a loan in the name of the LLC to finish paying for the repairs that needed to be done. I havenít heard anything about this since then. Is there currently a lien on the house? No loan, no lien. I paid for what's done, still some things to be done.
>
>13) I understand that since (brother) did not sign the LLC papers, there is no LLC, and the last I heard the only option you had was to open a checking account in your name to use for the estate income and expenses. Do you have a brief summary of the monthly income and expenses of that account? I do not need detailed. Later. The llc is a legal entity and the house is in it. (Brother) signed the llc legal papers allowing it to be formed. He didn't sign the member agreement between the three of us allowing me to do some things on behalf of the llc. I opened a checking account in my name to use only for llc business. Rent money goes in there and llc expenses are paid out of there. I have paid some out of my own account, but have kept track well. With no agreement the pud (Electric) is still in moms name.no big deal. I have been able to have most repairs done without the agreement.
>
>14) Is the estate at risk if you get sued? We really need to move forward with getting the estate legalized. No, estate is closed.
>
>15) My portion of the estate will have $12,000 deducted for Momís Honda. Estate is closed. I used any estate funds on the house, and replaced the money that was stolen from my former friend/contractor.
>
>16) In addition, there was the expense of (sisterís significant other) and the boys renting the truck, delivering the goods, hotel, food, fuel and then 3 airline tickets home that will come out of my part. What did that amount to? I donít remember hearing about that. Vacation trip, got new shirts, estate is closed.
>
>17) I donít think I got any details in the beginning, so correct me if I am wrong. The estate started out with these funds:
>
>Brotherís bonds: $26,554, plus a life insurance policy, $5,000; Sisterís bonds, $9,000, plus a Life Insurance policy valued at somewhere between $19,000 and $24,000 (I never heard exactly what that was). Also, there was roughly $3,000 in Momís checking and savings. That should be around $62,554 - $67,554. Sister said the $9,000 in bonds had gone mostly to the funeral expenses, etc. right off the top in February 2010, so that leaves roughly $53,000 left for repairs to the house. Contractor did approximately ~$20,000 in repairs and walked away with ~$30,000, leaving the estate funds to $0. How much additional money did you pay out of your own pocket to finish the repairs to the house? I can give a full accounting later.
>
>18) Are all the remodeling/repairs finished on the house? A couple of items to do.
>
>19) Do you have any idea what current market value of the house is from what you are paying taxes on? I am going to guess it is worth twice what it was 10 years ago. It has increased A lot in value. That area has gone up greatly. Current value per assessor is $387,500.
>
>If I have left anything out, please let me know. I just feel I should now some of these things. Maybe I do and have forgotten.
I am behind on my accounting and will send you the numbers as soon as I am able.
>
>
>
>Thanks
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:10 AM   #29
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... Actually I am confused, but apparently since the estate is closed, there is now a LLC? Ugh.
@klucich, sorry to be so verbose here but you keep adding new information that IMO begs comment.

LLC is a form of ownership of assets. It has nothing to do with estates unless the will of the decedent specified that the house be owned by an LLC. This is unlikely.

When the estate closed, ownership of the house transferred somewhere. Most likely to you three siblings as individuals --- tenants in common. From that point you three could have made an explicit agreement to transfer the property into an LLC, but there would necessarily have been paperwork for you to sign. One thing you could do even on a holiday weekend is to check your county assessor's online records to see how the house is titled. If it is owned by an LLC that will be clear.

But more importantly, this is an even bigger snake pit as you reveal details and your sister's abysmally weak responses. Please, please, find a trusted CPA and an attorney sooner rather than later; throw them into the snake pit and pay them to deal with it. They will save you more money than they will cost you.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:19 AM   #30
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Here are the responses I've received to my questions. Names have been replaced. Reads from the bottom up:

I was hoping to have some conversation to try to figure out something in the middle that works for everyone, including Nephew. I donít want you to have to ďfigure out a way how to make that happenĒ. We have to be able to work together to ďfigure that outĒ. I am not even suggesting we need to take any action right now, considering the circumstances.

Some input from you, and Nephew too, on what you think we could do would be helpful.
__________________________________________________ _________________________________

Well you're not giving me any feedback from your end. I don't want to push anyone to do anything they don't want to do. No hurry.
__________________________________________________ _______________________

What time frame would you want that to happen?
__________________________________________________ ________________________________

On June 23, 2020

Well I'm not sure. Is Nephew still living there? I just wondered if you planned on just still owning the house and see what happens down the road, selling at a later date? There are lots of options. Is Nephew interested at all in buying? He could buy me out? Do you have any thoughts? What do YOU want to do?

__________________________________________________ _________________________

Just tell me what you want to do. Couldn't get my email to send that day.

On June 23, 2020

Didn't know if you saw this or were still thinking or if I missed an answer. If you have no idea, that's OK. I was just wondering if you had any thoughts on it.


Sent: Saturday, June 6, 2020 6:01 PM
Subject: Just wondering

Have you thought about what you are going to do with Mom's house? Hang on to it? Is Nephew still renting it?
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:22 AM   #31
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Hire a attorney and sell the house. This has gone on for too long.
Yea, it kind of looks like that is what I am going to have to do.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:30 AM   #32
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@klucich, sorry to be so verbose here but you keep adding new information that IMO begs comment.

LLC is a form of ownership of assets. It has nothing to do with estates unless the will of the decedent specified that the house be owned by an LLC. This is unlikely.

When the estate closed, ownership of the house transferred somewhere. Most likely to you three siblings as individuals --- tenants in common. From that point you three could have made an explicit agreement to transfer the property into an LLC, but there would necessarily have been paperwork for you to sign. One thing you could do even on a holiday weekend is to check your county assessor's online records to see how the house is titled. If it is owned by an LLC that will be clear.

But more importantly, this is an even bigger snake pit as you reveal details and your sister's abysmally weak responses. Please, please, find a trusted CPA and an attorney sooner rather than later; throw them into the snake pit and pay them to deal with it. They will save you more money than they will cost you.
Thank you guys. I think you have given me some very wise and valuable information and I agree. I think I really do need to get out of this as well. Now to figure out what my tax consequences will be....
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:38 AM   #33
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... Now to figure out what my tax consequences will be....
No, no, no! This is unimportant and it is impossible until the house is actually sold and your CPA understands the effects of, apparently, your owning part of an LLC for five years with your sister sloshing the income and expenses around without your knowledge. You may have deductions, taxable income, etc. and amended tax returns to file. Also, all your CPA and legal expenses will be deductible from whatever proceeds you receive.

Taxes are a detail. Kill the snakes in the pit, take your money and run. That is the important part.

Good luck!
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:52 AM   #34
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No, no, no! This is unimportant and it is impossible until the house is actually sold and your CPA understands the effects of, apparently, your owning part of an LLC for five years with your sister sloshing the income and expenses around without your knowledge. You may have deductions, taxable income, etc. and amended tax returns to file. Also, all your CPA and legal expenses will be deductible from whatever proceeds you receive.

Taxes are a detail. Kill the snakes in the pit, take your money and run. That is the important part.

Good luck!
OMG you are so funny. Is there any harm to just cut ties and exit stage right? I mean that I just tell her to get the house appraised and I want to be bought out of my 1/2, period.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:53 AM   #35
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+1 Sounds like you and sister relationship is not much. How about brother?

The nice thing about the LLC is that you can sell your shares to sister and brother doesn't need to be involved. To be clear, your asset is NOT a 1/3 interest in the house.... it is likely 1/3 of the shares the LLC. Your basis in the shares is probably 1/3 of the value of the house on the date of death and any money you contributed toward the home improvements.

Technically, you can sell your shares of the LLC to anyone... but sister (or brother) are the most logical buyers. Check with a lawyer, but I suspect that between you and brother you have a majority, so you can sort of call the shots... I think you could even take control of the LLC from sister and then sell the property if you wanted to but it would be nasty especially with sister "managing" it for 10 years and her sweat equity.

Again, you need a good lawyer for you and brother to assess the situation and press for a resolution that meets all your interests... especially you and brother getting a clean break.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:55 AM   #36
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Given that you have nothing to do with sister and family, I would cut all ties with her in any way that you can.

1st, I would ask for an accounting of the last 2 years income and expenses to be certain you are getting the full story (assuming sister has such a thing and does not just make it up on the spot).

If you want to keep the house and bet on appreciation, try to convince sister to have the property evaluated and then managed by a professional. If they decide that the nephew is a deadbeat, then they will evict him and get a new qualified tenant. Problem solved. Money comes in. Not the recommended solution.

I would simply get out completely since you say you basically have nothing to do with the property and get no monetary benefit. Sell your half to sister or sell both halves outright are two options.

Another possibility might be to sell to deadbeat nephew. Expect that foreclosure is near.

Walking away (#6) would never be an option IMO. There is too much capital investment there to just give away IMO. If you feel strongly that it is an option, fill out and file a quit claim deed for your half in my name and I will deal with the mess. :>)
LOL. No, you all have convinced me to get out, the sooner the better.
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:08 PM   #37
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Here are the responses I've received to my questions. Names have been replaced. Reads from the bottom up:

I was hoping to have some conversation to try to figure out something in the middle that works for everyone, including Nephew. I don’t want you to have to “figure out a way how to make that happen”. We have to be able to work together to “figure that out”. I am not even suggesting we need to take any action right now, considering the circumstances.

Some input from you, and Nephew too, on what you think we could do would be helpful.
__________________________________________________ _________________________________

Well you're not giving me any feedback from your end. I don't want to push anyone to do anything they don't want to do. No hurry.
__________________________________________________ _______________________

What time frame would you want that to happen?
__________________________________________________ ________________________________

On June 23, 2020

Well I'm not sure. Is Nephew still living there? I just wondered if you planned on just still owning the house and see what happens down the road, selling at a later date? There are lots of options. Is Nephew interested at all in buying? He could buy me out? Do you have any thoughts? What do YOU want to do?

__________________________________________________ _________________________

Just tell me what you want to do. Couldn't get my email to send that day.

On June 23, 2020

Didn't know if you saw this or were still thinking or if I missed an answer. If you have no idea, that's OK. I was just wondering if you had any thoughts on it.


Sent: Saturday, June 6, 2020 6:01 PM
Subject: Just wondering

Have you thought about what you are going to do with Mom's house? Hang on to it? Is Nephew still renting it?
Goodness! You are one polite sister walking on egg shells. We were in a similar situation...way too much detail to go into, but it was a fight for ~ 10 years. 90% of my grey hair is from our ordeal. Ours entailed rental property left by my DMI to my DH, DSi and DBI. One good thing we did immediately after DMI death is put it in an LLC. DBI managed the property quite poorly, was late on taxes every year, had a shady attitude that created so much tension. Get out!! ASAP and stop being so nice. This will give you ulcers.

It sounds like you've put this ordeal on the back burner for way too long. The short, curt answers from your sister are Red Flags. Listen to our financial experts on this forum. They are right. Unless, you want to be taken advantage of...and it's hard, especially with family, do the right thing and be done with it.
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:17 PM   #38
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If I get the gist, the home is owned in an LLC, presumably formed by OP, sister and brother. Brother did not sign anything agreeing to have sister manage the LLC. Sister opened a checking account in her name. Nephew is/was paying sporadically to sister's bank account. Sister hired a rehab guy who skipped out with 30K. Sister paid for and added labor to partially finish the unfinished rehab. Rent, when it was paid, went to taxes and to pay her back for her rehab costs.

No LLC bank account. The home is the only asset owned by the LLC. No money goes into the LLC. No money goes out of the LLC. Sister is acting as the home is hers. Giving preferential treatment to nephew.

I wonder what the state regulators might say about her CPA license under this situation?
I'm not suggesting you follow through with reporting this situation. It might help you to know this may be an option in case you do not find a mutual agreeable solution. Having leverage can be a great mediator. In the mean time, I hope your Umbrella Insurance is paid up.
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:27 PM   #39
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OK guys I am going to send some of your responses to my brother. I know he isn't going to want to cause a rift, so I am going to ask now if there is any harm in just asking to be bought out or do you think we really need to get lawyers involved right off the get go?
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:41 PM   #40
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OK guys I am going to send some of your responses to my brother. I know he isn't going to want to cause a rift, so I am going to ask now if there is any harm in just asking to be bought out or do you think we really need to get lawyers involved right off the get go?
It probably wouldn't hurt to be asked to be bought out and see what she says.
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