Detroit, MI asked in Estate Planning for Michigan

Q: How long will 4 heirs wait if selling estate to 5th heir on "land contract"?

The will says sell & divide equally. 4 heirs willing to sell to 5th heir, but she doesn't qualify for a loan. Selling on a "land contract", how long will the other 4 wait for their inheritance?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: A land contract is usually paid a little at a time. First, there’s a down payment. Second, there are monthly payments for most of the balance over time. Third, there’s usually a bigger lump sum payment due several (3-10) years later. When a land contract is made, the buyer has a vendee’s interest: possession of the property now, and the right to receive a deed at the end, if all payments are made. The seller has a vendor’s interest: legal title now, and the right to receive payments from the vendee, along with the duty to deliver a deed if the contract is fully performed.

How long will you wait for your inheritance? If you mean all your money, it would be as long as the term of the land contract - the time when the balloon payment is due. If you mean your vendor’s interest, it would depend on whether the land contract is made between the buyer and the estate as seller, or whether it’s between the buyer and the other 4 heirs as sellers. You could close the probate and get your inheritance (vendor’s interest) faster if you conveyed the property from the estate to the heirs who will hold title, then did the land contract between the buyer and the other 4 heirs.

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