If one beneficiary wants to buy a house from the estate of a deceased parent with several other beneficiaries, how should that work?

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If one beneficiary wants to buy a house from the estate of a deceased parent with several other beneficiaries, how should that work?

Does the purchaser pay for the value of the property and then the remaining beneficiaries split the profit, or would the profit also be split with the purchaser being that he/she is due their share of the estate?

Asked on August 14, 2015 under Estate Planning, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If he/she buys it before the estate is distributed to the beneficiaries, which is what your question seems to indicate, then the proceeds go to the estate, to be divided among all beneficiaires (including the purchaser) as set out in the will or as determined by the rules of intestate success. However, the purchaser has the right to disclaim part of an inheritance, so in theory, he could use that to reduce the price he pays, subject to the approval of the administrator or executor. 

For example: normally, say that house is worth $400k and there are 5 equal beneficiaries. Ignoring all costs, debts, etc. for the sake of simplicity, he would pay $400k, then would get $80k back when the sale proceeds are distributed 5 ways.

If he disclaimed his share, then he wouldn't get $80k. The estate could take $320k, distribute it 4 ways, and the other beneficiaries woudl come out to the same place economically.


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