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loss of house adds to grief, overwhelmed


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hi. well my father left my brother and i a country house in a beautiful area. but i fear that i may have to liquidate my part of the ownership as i think i'll be driven insane with co-ownership with my brother. we do not see eye to eye and well it's just a terriby frustrating situation, one that i am really starting to feel I cannot live with.

not only will it be emotional wrenching to let go of this house, but financially i'd be better off later holding on to this property... so it also makes me angry that i will be "forced" to sell out becuase of emotional turmoil!!

but i am literally bawling my eyes out with frustration over co-management and I cannot take it. I feel like the only healthy thing for me to do is "take the money and run", run away, run away.

Sadly I do believe that this is going to be a case of a death in the family breaking up the family as I'm just so frustrated and so upset with the situation that I do not feel the break will ever be mended. My brother has pushed me to the limit so many times during my dad's illness, terminal illness and passing that as much as I understand it's due to his own limitations (he's a good guy basically), I am so terribly upset by his behavior toward me and lack of support that I feel I may never recover. And should it come to my being "forced" to liquidate my part of this house, well that is something that is so awful to me that i would always wish him well, but would probably only see him again or speak to him again in case of great need.

it's sad. I'm overwhelmed with the hugeness of these decisions and their repercussions.

having to give up this house, which was a huge gift to us, will break my heart. but I honestly am afraid that i cannot manage to share ownership.

If anyone can share stories with me, or any words, please do. We have to settle the estate by Dec and my brother wants to do it NOW and well I just don't know.... i'm terribly afraid of doing the "wrong thing" and yet I'm suffering so much; sometimes I think the best thing to do is liquidate and say goodbye and go on with my life, with my own grief, alone with my own family.

With tears and love,


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Lori---when my Mother died , she left the house to my sister and myself. My sister and I never did see eye to eye and in some ways we still don't. Although my Mother left us everything 50/50, she had my sister's name on her bank accounts for convenience--my sister actually threatened to keep it all till I threatened to sue her. Then the house needed a ton of work before it could be sold. She wanted her husband to do the renovation and I would have to pay him--The benefit to me? Nothing because she was getting the labor for free, and anything I would buy would have also gone up in price by the time the renovation was done. We are ok now --just two different outlooks on things

anyway, to get back to the house, I ended up buying her out. I took out a mortgage and had to work two jobs for awhile, but I am so happy I kept my childhood home, it was a real comfort to me. Over the years, I have renovated little by little and now it looks like a charming English cottage. Plus my finances got much better over the years. Is there anyway you could buy him out by taking a mortgage and then rent it out to pay the mortgage? I know it will be rough in the beginning, but follow your instincts.


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Lori....please don't allow your brother to push you into any decision that you're not ready to make. There are always alternative solutions to problems and you have to be strong and keep a clear head so that you can make them. After the death of my grandfather, my mother and her brother were in a very similar situation. Her brother was 10 years younger than my mother and had always been "babied" by everyone...including my mom. My mother loved him so much! My grandfathers farm was left 50/50 to each of them. Her brother pitched a temper tantrum and threatened to move far away if she didn't sell him her half of the farm. She caved in and was miserable until her death that she had done so. Their relationship did not improve at all after she caved in. In fact, the relationship became even more strained as years passed. If you wnat to keep this house...stand strong. You have the legal system on your side and cannot be made to sell to your brother! If there is already a rocky relationship betwen the two of you, selling to him will not make things better. This house is what your parents worked for! Don't give it up unless you it is 100% what you want!!! JUST SAY NO!!!!

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Lori - be strong!

I'm going through a similar thing with my sister right now. The house I grew up in has been in my name since my dad died in 1975. Now, we've moved my mother (she'll be 92 in August!) to an assisted living facility where she will have an apartment in probably a month.

I'm more than happy for my sister to handle the sale of things inside the house, because she has a friend who has done estate sales for years. But, my sister is 16 years older than I am, and as usual tries to run my life for me and control everything in sight.

We have a potential buyer for the house, and I would find out now and then that my sister was talking to the realtor directly and I was being left out of the loop. Finally, I pulled myself up by the bootstraps, and informed the realtor that the contract we signed has MY name on it - not my sister's. When we get around to selling the house, it will be ME giving the ok (or not) to any offers - NOT my sister. So, she could take it or leave it -- and if she continued to try and work with my sister, I would be terminating the contract and reporting her to the licensing board in her county. So there.

Finally, she gets the message. At least I hope so. Also had to let the sister know that if I didn't have all the information and was left out of the loop when she had talks with the realtor about this, she might be really embarrassed when I fail to do what she thinks I should. In short, STOP with the controlling thing and do your part, and I'll do mine.

It's difficult with families -- how well I know that. I come from a different place now that I have myself and my health to concentrate on, so if they think I'll be intimidated by them after dealing with cancer, they'd best think again!

Hang in there. Do what you can to make it work the best for YOU. Look out for yourself. I felt much better when I began to take back control. It gave me a sense of power over something at least!

My best wishes to you.


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to all of you, THANK you so much for your thoughtful encouragement and sharing. i appreciate it so very much.

thank you for encouraging me to stay strong. i will wait and give it more time and my brother will just have to deal.

one of us will have to buy the other out, simply becasue the spirit of cooperation and communication is so sorely lacking, that, as i said originally, it's honestly more than i can handle. i can't co-own with an uncooperative brother!

the reason why i'm more inclined to sell teh house to my brother rather than buy him out are two fold... one is that my brother uses the house MUCH more than i do, as i live in DC and he lives in NY and the house is much much closer to him, so much so that he uses it most every weekend except winter. Another reason is that I would want to change the house by making 'improvements" and perhaps even an addition, and my dad built and designed this house, so i think my brother would be very upset if i changed it. And the final reason why i would think to sell it to him rather than keep it myself is that ONE DAY i would probably want to sell it. Well "want" to is not a good term, actually, i would NEVER want to sell this house, but I might NEED to one day. Even though this house is not about $$, it is worth something as as one never knows what life will bring, I would need to feel like i had the OPTION of selling it if i needed to. And selling it would break my brother's heart. So that's why i'm inclined to sell it to him.

What I'd prefer to do is buy it myself, move into it, and live in it, and then down the road, who knows. I cannot promise that I could / would live here forever! And so, that's why i would need to sell to him.

STILL it upsets me becuase I WOULD REALLY PREFER to continue to own it, use it and enjoy it with my brother, but it is impossible without driving myself absolutely insane. I am here this summer, ready to do work on the house and he just plain REFUSES to talk about doing any repairs, etc, and dosen't give me any reasons, just doesn't want to talk about it. he's VERy stubborn and may i say selfish, and this isn't just about grief, it's just him..


thanks so much for listening. i'm so frustrated. i just feel like letting the house go is the only answer BUT i WILL take your great advice and stay stong and hold on until I'm able to explore options

you are such wonderful people, this site is a godsend.


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As I was reading your post, one phrase really jumped out at me....."down the road." Right now, you are still grieving. It's too early for you to completely sort your feelings out about such an important issue. You...and your brother...need time. Right now, this house and personal belongings are all of the "earthly" things that still bind you to your parents. You need plenty of time to cherish the things that were theirs. Maybe, someday, the time will be right for you to part with this house but I just don't think you're ready yet! Remember, your brother cannot force you into caving in and selling to him!!! Be brave!!!! Be tough!!!

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