It's never a good thing when siblings inherit property from their parents. The situation gets even more complicated when the siblings live in different countries and are of different sexes. Just ask Ajuma, who is living in Ghana and inheriting her dad's house with her two brothers, one in the U.S., and one in Canada.
This situation can make family conversations difficult to have because there are so many variables involved. Read on for advice on what to do if you find yourself in this type of situation.
If you're the eldest sibling, it's important to be the responsible one and to take charge of the situation. Your siblings are going to look to you for guidance and leadership. You'll need to make sure that everyone understands their rights in the new property inheritance (including any factors like property taxes). You'll also want to talk about how the money from the house will be distributed, which can get complicated if some of your siblings are based outside of Ghana.
It's okay to tell your other siblings that they can't come into town at any time without consulting with you first. That way, you maintain control over who comes into town when, which can help minimize family conflict.
If you are the youngest sibling and inherit property from your parents, it can be difficult to feel a sense of ownership. In most cases, the children will have to share the property and split up their time between the country where they live and that of their siblings.
This might mean that Ajuma will have to sell her dad's house to pay for her own apartment in Ghana. This is something she doesn't want to do because her dad loved this house so much. She would rather keep the house, but travel back and forth as needed.
The best way for Ajuma to manage this situation is by talking with her siblings and coming up with a plan that works best for all of them. If they're not able to come up with something mutually beneficial, then Ajuma should consult an attorney to protect her rights and make sure she has the final say on what happens with the property.
If you are of a different gender than your siblings, you need to know that you are in a significantly different position than they are. You need to understand that the inheritance laws in your country may not be applicable to your situation.
For example, Ajuma's dad left his house in Ghana for her two brothers and her. She found out after his death that one of her brothers is married and has a child. The other brother is single and lives with his parents. If Ajuma's dad had know about his son's marital status, he might have given him more of the property or put it in trust for his son's family, who might not be able to inherit property under the Ghanaian law because they're not legally married.
If Ajuma wants to do something about this situation, she should talk to an attorney who specializes in international estate law. It is possible that she can make legal arrangements for her brother who is single and living with his parents to receive more of their father's property when she inherits it. Alternatively, she could leave some of the property for him outright if he was willing to sign some sort of waiver agreeing not to contest whatever arrangement Ajuma made with her other brother's family as long as he received adequate compensation from Ajuma for any other property he might be entitled too under personal laws where he resides.
In Ghana, when a woman has male children and her husband dies, she inherits the property. If she does not have any male children and her husband dies, she inherits nothing. Instead, it goes to her husband's family or his next of kin.
If Ajuma's dad had no sons and died in Ghana, the house would go to his brother or nephew.
If Ajuma's dad had one daughter and one son in Ghana, the daughter would inherit the house if he died.
If Ajuma's dad had two daughters in Ghana and no sons, the house would be split between them as they are female heirs.
If Ajuma's dad only has daughters in Ghana but one died before he did and didn't have any children then the other daughter gets all of it.
If Ajuma's dad has two kids in Canada with different wives who are both living, they each get a third of it once he dies because they're from different mothers.
Ajuma's case is a complicated one, but there are ways for her to make the situation work.
-Ajuma can sell the property and split the profits with her brothers.
-She can rent or lease the property from them and pay them rent in return.
-She could also find an alternative solution that works for everyone involved.
Regardless of what Ajuma chooses, it's important to come up with a decision that will be mutually beneficial for all parties involved.
The best solution for Ajuma is to sell her dad's house and divide the money with her siblings. The house is in Ghana, but Ajuma lives in Ghana and the U.S., so she may not want to live there. If her brother from the U.S. wants to buy the house, she could charge him a higher price to make up for the distance involved. Furthermore, she could also split up some of the furniture if necessary and even split up clothes or other items that are too big for international shipping.
Ajuma could give up her rights to the property in order to avoid disputes. It's a difficult decision, but if one of her brothers is willing to take care of the property, then Ajuma might be better off passing on her rights.
Another option is for the siblings to sell the house and split the money three-ways. This would allow them all to have a roof over their heads without having to deal with complicated decisions or buying expensive houses that they can't afford. The third option is for all three siblings to live together in the same household.