From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My son has very little ambition and lives in my basement. My other children are successful and have their own houses. At my death, I want my house sold and the money divided equally between my three children, but I am sure that my son will refuse to leave the house. What can I do to make sure the house is sold?
Children who will not leave the house are a common problem, and a source of family conflict. By recognizing the potential problem, you can help defuse the potential conflict.
I suggest that we amend your will to state clearly that the house must be sold immediately following your death. We can also state that your son can live there rent-free for a little while, but if he refuses to leave, he will pay not only the utilities but a large amount of rent which can be taken from his share of the estate. This will give him reason to move out and find a cheaper place.
We can also say that any expense incurred in removing him will be paid out of his share. It is important that you select an executor who can diplomatically address this issue. You know your children, and it might not be the best idea having a child as executor with the task of removing his or her sibling. A neutral party might better keep the family peace. Once I know more details about your specific family dynamic, I will be able to give you more ideas to help make sure this transfer is as peaceful and event free as possible.
If you have any other questions about Probate or Estate Planning, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.