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life lease to brother deceased parents home Security Deposit

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by tbrown020, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. tbrown020

    tbrown020 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My parents both died in 2014. They had a depleted trust naming both my brother and I co trustees. The trust says simply to pay all debts and split whatever is left. My mother always said that my brother could have "life lease" on their home but it was not in the trust or any where in writing. Subsequently, they ran into financially difficultly and placed a mortgage on the home. My brother says that the trust needs to pay off the upside down mortgage and leave him enough money to make any repairs to the house in the future. I say we need to walk away or pay off the mortgage with settlement amount with the bank if the trust can afford it, with him paying me off 50 of the ownership and he can own the house since the house was mortgaged. Am I correct or is he?
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    There is no "life estate" for your brother unless it is written in a will or in an addendum to the trust.
    Absent such written evidence, you and your brother own the home equally.

    I must amend OWN, to say the trust owns the home.
    The trust is upside down in its ownership.
    Therefore, the home must be sold in an attempt to satisfy the lender.
    It is entirely possible that the home could sell for a mere $60,000 (for example), and the mortgage might be $100,000.
    In that case, I suggest you simply allow the lender to foreclose, and you stay out of this.
    You aren't required to accept an inheritance, especially if its a debt.
    If the mortgage exceeds the sale value of the home, neither one of you will take anything.

    If the amount owed on the mortgage is $50,000 (for example), the home sells for $80,000, you split $30,000; each walking away with about fifteen grand.
    If you're smart and want to get paid, you request the court to partition the home (meaning the home will be sold at auction with the court's oversight).
    What you don't want to do is give any credence to any unwritten instructions that can no longer be carried out.
    Your brother's "life estate" is a fantasy.
    If mom wanted him to have the home, all she had to do was gift it to him while she was alive.
    My condolences on the passing of your mom and pop, God bless.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015

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