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The question title may be a bit misleading - it's hard to word my issue. Apologies in advance.

Background

I am 27 and my sister is 23. We stand to inherit a 1500 sq. foot home should anything happen to my mom, who currently owns the home. My mom is nearing 60 years of age.

The issue

My sister and I are like night and day. I completed both a bachelor's and a master's degree debt free, have $100,000+ in savings and got hired out of college as a software developer at a healthy $90,000 starting salary. My sister on the other hand has a long history of psychiatric problems, drug use and promiscuity. She has dropped out of college and has net earnings of < $5,000 annually. She never has more than $20 in her bank account and spends all her money on reiki healing, crystals and all that other pseudoscientific healing garbage. My sister also lives off my mom and has never held a serious job. Psychiatrists have suggested diagnoses of both schizophrenia and/or borderline personality disorder.

I have severe concerns about inheriting a home jointly with someone who is disordered should anything happen to my mom. Myself and my sister get along (usually) however the big issue is that she has nowhere to go should my mom pass away and will refuse to sell the home whereas I want to sell the home as fast as possible such that I do not own a joint venture with her. She does not understand that owning a home doesn't mean one "owns" the home - there is mortgage to pay, property taxes, utilities, etc. In her opinion, this is a conspiracy by Big Brother government to overthrow the public. Inevitably, the home will be lost.

The question

A question from my mom: Is it possible to re-draft a will such that a third party could sell the home on our behalf?

At this stage in my life, I could care less what happens to her after the home is sold. She will most likely end up homeless. I wish her the best however there is nothing that can be done to help those who refuse to help themselves.

marked as duplicate by Nij, Greendrake, Community Apr 23 at 5:52

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    I’m sorry for the difficult situation you are in. I think this is off topic for this site and would do better in Law.SE, however you will also need to specify a jurisdiction to have any hope of getting an answer. – Vicky Apr 21 at 7:26
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    You do realize your mother can specify that 100% of everything will go to sister? Your mom needs professional advice to plan her will and maybe plan for providing long term care for your sister. – mhoran_psprep Apr 21 at 12:11
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    While this question isn't technically asking for specific legal advice, you should not substitute any answer you get here for actual legal advice for your situation. What your mom needs is an estate planning lawyer. – IllusiveBrian Apr 22 at 13:43
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    It's normal for a third party to dispose of the estate's assets; the third party is called the executor of the estate. If your mother wants to prevent your sister from squandering her inheritance, she can also set up a trust fund (or disinherit her, of course). Since you don't care about the house, the estate could sell it and split the money between you and the trust, for example. There may be other options, and I echo @IllusiveBrian in saying that your mother need a lawyer. The lawyer should be able to identify the options and give her enough information to choose among them. – phoog Apr 22 at 15:15
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    (The executor isn't always a third party; an heir can be appointed, at least in some jurisdictions. However, if you were the executor it would seem likely to create a good deal of friction between you and your sister.) – phoog Apr 22 at 15:18
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A question from my mom: Is it possible to re-draft a will such that a third party could sell the home on our behalf?

Yes. A third-party could sell the home, the home could be placed in trust and not sold, and other options are also available.

For that matter, even if the will says "all to my children in equal shares", an executor usually doesn't have to turn over an inherited house in kind. Selling it and distributing the proceeds is almost always a permissible choice, and many Wills also provide that devises to a person with a disability can be made in the form of a trust or a payment for the benefit of the person to be protected.

In a situation like the one you discuss, which is not uncommon, I've probably seen at least a dozen of them over the years, assets for the child having difficulties are usually placed in a protective trust of some kind. The better practice is for the trust to be established or referred to expressly in the Will.

I'm not familiar with the precise language used in such trusts in B.C. because some of the considerations in U.S. trusts are particular to U.S. Medicaid and disability benefit eligibility rules that are likely to be different in Canada.

At this stage in my life, I could care less what happens to her after the home is sold. She will most likely end up homeless. I wish her the best however there is nothing that can be done to help those who refuse to help themselves.

This is precisely the reason that protective trusts are needed.

Thinking of a mental health conditions in terms of "there is nothing that can be done to help those who refuse to help themselves" really fails to understand that this kind of thing is not voluntary in the moral sense that you ascribe to it. The inability to help yourself is at the heart of what the condition is. Almost nobody with these conditions doesn't have periods where everything falls apart and where they don't take meds to address it. The price one pays for taking meds in terms of well being in a holistic sense and continuing to be "who you are" is very high, although most people end up taking them and tolerating these very costly side effects.

Realistically, your sister is going to need more help than you do all of her life. Many parents in your mom's position would give you only a token gift to indicate that you aren't being disinherited and put everything else in trust for your sister who will need looking out for, realistically, for the rest of her life.

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