Help with mom’s lopsided estate: 20% Cash, 80% property, split 50/50?
Mom died. My brother “Adam” and I are to split her estate 50/50. After the smoke clears, cash will be about 20k, property about 80k. I know this seems tiny on either coast, but here in rural Texas, it’s a modest home and eight acres in the country.
I’m the executrix of her will, signor of her checks (her cash is safely with me at present), and also have the power to sell her house and land if deemed necessary. Me: Pretty comfortable, solid, good saver, shifter worker, never asked mom for a dime, but also, helped out very little after she became noncompliant, went off her meds, and started smoking cigarettes heavily again with Adam. Adam: Moocher, failure to (re)launch after his divorce 20 years ago, lives on mom’s place in his second RV in 20 years (trashed the first one, is a reclusive hoarder). His adult daughter is guiding him in all this. She confided to me before things went south between us that mom told her to just sell the place and move Adam in with her. She emphatically does not want to do this. (She also didn’t know mom never changed her will: It’s 50/50 still, and from 2006).
Adam just turned 62 and will get a very modest $1,200/mo SSI check beginning next month. Meanwhile, they won’t let me near mom’s property: Adam begrudgingly gives me her mail, but only the items he thinks I should get. (I’ve always filed her income tax return, and will have to do it again for 2018. There’s also other paperwork I still need to settle the estate.)
Setting aside all familial obligations, real and imagined — what should I do from strictly a “smart money, save yourself” standpoint? Pragmatism tells me I should sell, split 50/50, and let the chips fall where they may. Reality says I might crater and fall, especially if he shows up at my house with an empty soup bowl. Or a gun. All jokes aside, I think he still owes a debt on his last RV, and definitely would not want to see mom’s property lost to his debts, or his inability to pay property taxes and insurance. What would smart money do?