Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Virginia

Inherited 1/4 Real Estate

I have inherited 1/4 of a house with my siblings. House is in VA, we all live out of state. We agree to sell. Attorney wants to close out estate. Is it best to transfer Deed to all 4 parties or to one party in trust. Should we designate a POA or a Trustee? We don't want this complicated by anyones spouse. How is the best way to handle?

Asked on 9/26/04, 10:28 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jonathon Moseley Jonathon A. Moseley

Re: Inherited 1/4 Real Estate

You are jumping ahead of yourself. I assume that the deceased owner of the house was a resident of Virginia, primarily, at his or her death? Unless the house was owned by a trust, it is necessary to properly open an estate in probate, with the Circuit Court and Commissioner of the Accounts. Then your question about a power of attorney answers itself. The executor (personal representative) has the authority to sell the house. The executor should decide whether to sell the house and distribute the funds, or transfer the house by deed to the 4 siblings as tenants in common or joint tenants. If no one wants the house, then obviously selling it and distributing the cash is the best. However, you might also consider whether there is a strong market for RENTING the house in that area. This could simplify things. Some realtors will manage rentals. If the house is rented, then the monthly cash payments are easy to divide. My colleague's suggestion about an LLC would be perfect for that situation. If one sibling wants to keep the house, it is his or her responsibility to BUY the 3/4's interest of the other 4 siblings.

In addition to legal work, because it overlaps so much, I also help people find mortgages through a company that represents 100+ different mortgage lenders of all types.

If one of the siblings wants to buy out the others, they may need a mortgage or refinancing to do it. Give me a call at (800) 222-5016.

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Answered on 9/27/04, 11:48 am
Thomas Dunlap Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver, PLLC

Re: Inherited 1/4 Real Estate

The easiest thing to do is sell the house and not share a 1/4 interest with your siblings. However, if you are all intent on keeping the family manse in perpetuity, I would suggest creating an LLC, owned 25% by each sibling, individually and distrubting the estate to the LLC, which can then manage the property (pay the property taxes, insurance, mortgage, if any etc.) This also makes it much easier to track the exepnses come tax time. Feel free to call with any questions or for more help.

Disclaimer: Dunlap & Grubb, P.C. does not and will not represent you until you have signed a written retainer agreement. Any information or response to an your inquiry should not be relied upon and is not legal advice, unless such information or response explicitly states it may be relied upon and further explicitly states Dunlap & Grubb has agreed to enter into an attorney client relationship with you. For information please call 703-777-7319.

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Answered on 9/27/04, 8:45 am

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