My father passed away a couple of years ago and left the family cottage to my brother and my two sisters. One sister lives in the U.S. and has no interest in the property. Both my brother and sister have expressed ongoing interest in using the property, which has lead to some fairly major problems. My brother is no longer talking to my sister and we are fighting over maintenance fees. What should we do?
Certainly a loaded question that I can’t properly address in this short column but I can point you towards some potential solutions.
The first piece of advice I can offer is, you need to open a discussion between all the parties to clear to air (this probably should not be done sitting around the dining room table at the cottage). Perhaps the best solution is to buy out the uninterested parties and leave those who still want to enjoy the cottage to work out the best sharing solution. If parties can’t agree, then maybe the property gets listed and sold. Period.
Jeffrey Cowan is the principal with Cowan Taylor and McGee, Barristers & Solicitors. The information in this article should not be relied upon as legal advice.