If a person makes the down payment on land, do the inheritor's get that money back when they die? 1 Answers as of August 20, 2011

My wife and her mother went in on a land deal. The land title was Tenants in Common. The mom made the down payment of $28,000. My wife has paid all taxes, insurance, and had made 80% of every monthly payment. The mom has died and my wife's 4 siblings inherited the moms part of the land. They want us to buy them out PLUS pay them the down payment their mom made. Because it's "her equity." Is this right?

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Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
Each sibling you refer to owns 1/4 of an undivided 1/2 interest in the real estate according to the facts contained in your question. Any one of the owners could file a Suit in Partition and obtain a Judgment requiring that the property be sold. The sales proceeds would be divided by the court. I do not know of any legal theory that supports their position that they should be paid the amount of the downpayment. This is an excellent example of people titling real estate in such a way as to assure that there will be problems. I believe that most attorneys would have advised against this set up in the first place and foound a better way to accomplish the goals of the mother and sister.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/20/2011
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