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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
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Myself and 4 other family members are assuming the loan of

Customer Question

Myself and 4 other family members are assuming the loan of my grandmother home. She passed away in Michigan last March. What type of agreement should I have with them?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.


What is it that you are wanting to accomplish here?


Is everyone agreeing to divide the loan payment equally?





Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The property (lake house) was left in a trust to 7 siblings one being my father. All but 3 siblings have signed over thier rights and deed to my father, his brother and sister. My father holds 70% of the deed, his brother and sister hold 15% each. I will pay 40% of the mortgage and expenses while his brother, sister and nephew pay the remaining 60%. Myself and my father will hold controlling interest in the property with my 40% and his 15%. We all want to enjoy the lake house for vacation purposes and possibly rent it out for weekend and weeks at a time. My question is, what type of written agreement should I execute with the other family members? I will probably invest more money into the property than any other person, how do I protect my investment if the others do not want to contribute to the upgrades I plan to do? what happens if a year from now one can't make a payment? etc.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

I have to opt out as something has come up and I won't be available for a while..


Another expert should be along shortly to assist.





Expert: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry Barrister had to dash -- I'm afraid "life happens" to us all!
I'll try and provide some perspective. First, be advised I am licensed in California, no Michigan. Also be advised that lawyers here cannot give specific legal advice here, rather only address legal issues generally.

I'm sorry to say, that I don't think there is a simple answer for you.

In a complex ownership-investment situation as set forth in this scenario -- with various ownership proportions, debt service proportions, property improvement investing proportions -- the first thing to be sure of is that your percentages add up.

People are free to contract, and free to agree to pay more for apparently less, etc., becasue people value different things differently. So long as there is legal consideration. a contract is enforceable.

The issues to consider and address in this scenario:

-- whether the mortgage dictates restrictions on form of the property ownership or transfer, or if it can be renegotiated;

-- property ownership proportions and form (tenants in common, joint tenancy, trust), and which needs to take into consideration the goal with respect to ultimate ownership/disposition of the property upon the death of current proportional owners and investors.

-- investment proportions, both in the form of mortgage payment contributions and property improvement and maintenance, among others;

-- division of return on investment, whether monetary (from rents) or in-kind (use of the house in some measure) or potential ownership interests.

So taking these issues into consideration, a group can draft a contract addressing these aspects.

Another route would be setting up a limited partnership or a limited liability company or other corporate form.

An alternative would be to create a new trust to own and manage the property with the various family member being the beneficiaries, with dividend being money, use or future ownship interests.

A trust may be the simplest and most flexible, expecially when it come to ultimate disposition. But if a family member is the trustees managing the property, there may be in-fighting & hard feelings if the other family-beneficiaries dislike trustee's decisions on property management and investment.

Of course, this is a pitfall in family parterships or corporations as well.

I hope this helps with some perspective, though I know it was not the "simple answer" you were probably hoping for.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My dad has 70% of the deed, his other 2 siblings have 15% my dad wants to give me 40%. My dads brother is trying to take over control of how the property will be managed and how much ownership my dad gives to me. What can my dad do without his brothers approval?