After the death of their father, two brothers and a sister were about to inherit equal shares of a family cabin in Montana. In the first meeting about their father's estate settlement, the middle brother, John, said he wanted to purchase his younger brother Ben's one‐third ownership, making John two‐thirds owner and his older sister, Amy, a one‐third owner.
Ben said he could offer to sell his one‐third equally to John and Amy. However, John pointed out to them that he was the only one with the financial resources to buy it. In addition, John and his grown children lived in Montana within driving distance of the cabin. John's work responsibilities made it difficult to plan in advance to use the cabin and he wanted the freedom to meet his children and friends there on short notice. Amy and her family lived on the East Coast and would only visit on holidays.
Amy could only pay one‐third of the property taxes and upkeep, which would be managed by John, and she expected use of the cabin one‐third of the time. Adding to the tension over scheduling, John also said he wanted to renovate and “update” the cabin, which would be expensive because of mountain zoning and building restrictions.
Amy thought a remodel was not necessary and would not pay for John's remodeling ideas—which she thought were ridiculous. After the first contentious estate meeting, Amy went with her sons to the cabin the next weekend, knowing no one was there, and took all the Navajo ...