5 siblings will be the beneficiaries to a will which includes a small apartment rental business in New York. 3 want the business sold and 2 do not. Only 1 of the siblings lives in the US, the other 4 are in the UK. What is the best way to resolve the issue as efficiently and at the lowest cost as possible? Will the 2 groups need their own lawyers and who will be responsible for the process? Thank you
Since, as you mentioned,there is a will, the Executor named in the will has the task of navigating a solution to the issue you have described. If the will does not direct specific means to deal with the business, the Surrogate's Court will generally accept a unanimous decision of the heirs as to the specific terms of the distribution. Unless the will provides otherwise, the heirs are entitled to the share of the estate provided to them by the will and not specific property.
Possible resolutions of the situation include the following:
1. The business could be sold and the proceeds together with the other assets of the estate distributed between the heirs
2. If there are enough assets in the estate, the heirs wishing to keep the business might do so and the other heirs receive their distribution from the other assets.
3. The heirs wishing to keep the business could offer to buy out the interest of the other heirs for cash or based upon a payment plan
It may be valuable for the family members to consult with separate legal counsel while engaged in any negotiations and certainly if an agreement is not reached.
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