Learning How to Share
September 14, 2008 9:52 AM Subscribe
Need help or ideas coming up with a good way to share a piece of family property with other family members that will avoid any messiness (or at least reduce the chance of messiness occurring)
My family owns a cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains that my grandparents built about 50 years ago. When my grandparents passed away, they left the cabin to their two children and their grandchildren so that it ended up being split between 6 people, with each of us owning an equal portion.
Now that we are all adults and moving on to having children of our own, we are approaching the somewhat sticky situation of trying to figure out the best way to share this property between all of us--from something as simple as ensuring we don't double-book the cabin for a weekend to more involved matters about upkeep and financially supporting the cabin, and who will make decisions about building any additions or making modernizations.
I'm personally really emotionally attached to this property, and am trying to be open to sharing and new ideas, but I can see that some of the suggestions that are being proposed I'm not in agreement with. I also see that since some folks are making more money than others, I'm afraid that this will enable them to have more say in what happens to the property, which I hope does not happen, as I don't believe that was what my grandparents would have wanted.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? Did you use outside help (a family mediator or something?) to get through this? I am trying to keep emotions out of the process, and trying to focus on the business aspects and how we all need to work together, but also know this is not my personal strong suit.
Any thoughts/stories/recommendations are appreciated--thanks!