What are the options for a family cabin when one child does not want to inherit?

Minneapolis, MN estate planning attorney Cameron R. Kelly addresses the options for a family cabin when one child doesn’t want to inherit it.

Contact Cameron R. Kelly

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (715) 381-7112


Like when you have a family business, the issue becomes how to equalize or make the distribution of my estate fair. And so one way you might handle that is give the cabin to one of the children and give an equal amount of cash to another one. But not every estate has the cash to do that and so when that’s the case sometimes you end with a situation where you have co-owners and one of them just doesn’t want to be involved. And I’ve seen that into turn into litigation where one owner will sue the other one to sell the property. In Minnesota, that’s called a partition action and that can be a really bad situation because you’ve got one sibling suing the other one and the dispute is bad enough when you have to go to court but it’s even worse when it’s family members that are involved.

So we try to encourage people to try to figure out a way, maybe there are other assets, maybe there’s life insurance, maybe one of the children can be a beneficiary of an IRA or an investment account. Or maybe we need to say to the child that wants to have the cabin that if they want it that they can have an option to purchase it at fair market value. There are a lot of ways to handle it and like a lot of estate planning there’s no one way that’s going to be perfect for every family it’s a personal decision.