I have a question about how to deal with the following issue: There's a family with two kids. The family property is 2 houses (same value, one is home to the family and the other is empty). The older kid gets married, the dad gives him the empty house, and he says the younger one will get the common house when they die. The younger kid gets married too, but since there are no more empty houses, he has to buy a house from his own earnings. 20 years later the father realizes the worth of the two heritages is not equal and he wants to take action about it (he estimates he will live 20 more years).

What could be a correct solution here? Is there a common practice to handle situations like this? Any suggestion?


1 Answer 1


In general, the father can write and rewrite his will however he likes

There is a rebuttable presumption that agreements between family members are not intended to create legally binding contracts. Absent documentation stating the opposite intention the father's "deal" with his kids can be changed at any time or abandoned altogether and he can leave the houses to the cat's home.

If one or both of the kids had acted on the father's promise to their detriment and with the father's knowledge this might create an estoppel. The classic example is of a farmer having his kid work the farm for less than legal wages on the understanding that "one day, all this will be yours" - the law will require that promise to be made good even if it isn't a contract.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .