This user inherited his family’s ranch but can’t afford to keep it. When his sister offered to take over, he gave her an ultimatum: pay the total price, or he’d sell it and move!
A Family Tradition
OP (Original Poster) is a 28-year-old man, and his family all grew up at his grandparent’s ranch, which was family-owned for more than 60 years. His grandparents passed there, and the place had a lot of sentimental value since his grandparents had even raised OP’s mother there.
The ranch was left to OP, while his sister received a cash inheritance that amounted to far less than the ranch’s worth.
The ranch is significant and has always been worth a lot of money. The problem with the property was that it required a lot of upkeep and wasn’t cheap.
The issue that the ranch presented to OP was that, as a young man with a moderate income, the demands of the property were too much. He had told his grandfather this before his passing, but his grandfather had maintained that he wanted OP to have the ranch and raise his children in it as his grandfather had.
Always Tell the Truth
OP said that it had become a running argument between them. His grandfather would tell him he needed to get more comfortable with the house, and OP would tell him that he would sell it, leading to their continued argument.
His Last Wish
Sadly, OP’s grandfather died the year before this story was posted, and did what he said he would, leaving OP the house and other assets. OP decided he would try to honor his grandfather’s wish and accepted the responsibility of the home and ranch.
A Continuous Problem
OP had tried to keep up with things at the ranch for the past year, but he wasn’t always successful. The reality was that the ranch and house were acting like a sinkhole for his limited income.
On top of everything else, OP had also been “headhunted” for a job. This particular position would require him to move across the country and had the potential to send him overseas within a year of taking it.
A Hard Decision
OP deliberated on what he would do about the house for as long as he could. After a while, he decided that he would have to sell the home and the ranch.
An Unsettling Dispute
When OP told his sister what he had decided, she, in his words, “lost her s***.” She told OP that he was disrespecting their grandfather’s wishes by selling it to a stranger and that she and her husband would be happy to take it over.
Pay to Play
OP told his sister that she could have the house and the ranch immediately if she could pay the total market price. His sister became outraged even more since he got the home for free and was now trying to sell it to her at the full price, which she thought was deeply unfair.
At that point, his sister proposed that she and her husband take over upkeep and live in the house after he moved away. OP couldn’t accept this compromise because he wanted to use the money from selling the home to fund his cross-county move.
A Gathering Storm
The entire episode has brought a lot of tension to the family, and OP said his sister is now “rallying the family against him.”
He also said he understands that his grandfather wouldn’t be happy, but with all respect due, his grandfather isn’t alive, and OP feels he shouldn’t remain burdened with his wishes.
Redditors’ Two Cents
The community was split, with many having vehement opinions about what OP had done and was planning to do. Even those who did agree with OP thought his offer to his sister was improper since he had gotten the house for nothing.
The most popular comment had elements of both sides, saying, “Not the a**hole. I’m not the biggest fan of venerating the wishes of the dead when it’s counter to your well-being. I think it’s nice that you tried, but your grandpa was under no illusions about your feelings about keeping the ranch in the family. Check for hidden treasure, cursed gold, or buried bodies before you sell. Edited to say that with the added context from OP, I think selling it to sister “for fair market value” is s*****. Sure, she should pay something, at least to recoup your cost from maintaining it, but you’re drifting into a**hole territory for me.”
Another more direct comment was, “You’re the a**hole. You get a free house that Grandpa wants to stay in the family and decide your sister should pay market value. I don’t see how you could be anything other than the a**hole. I am not saying she should get it for free, but what is the market value for a free house? If you do this, expect it to impact forever how the rest of the family sees you for the rest of your life.”
The Deeper Truth
It seems like most Redditors started on OP’s side, but they changed their minds as time passed.
One comment addressing the whole situation said, “You would be the a**hole if you don’t do whatever you can to keep the property in the family. Market value to the family who did not get an equal inheritance as you on a property you got for free on the condition that it be your family home is a s***** ask. You could rent it to your sister, work out a rent-to-own, or compromise on the cost, but using it as your get-rich scheme is icky.”
Play the Swapping Game
Several Redditors suggested that OP could propose trading inheritances, with her getting the ranch house and him getting the cash she initially received.
One user wrote, “I agree with other commenters that you should trade inheritances with your sister. Whatever amount of cash she got from Grandpa, for the house you got from Grandpa. It’s a simple solution. Selling an old family home to a stranger when other family members want it is a**hole territory. If it were me, I’d also go very easy on her in the trade if I knew it was a financial hardship for her—like if she’s already spent the money she got, I might offer her a rent-to-own situation at a good rate for being my sister, but I know some siblings have tense relationships, so I won’t necessarily advise that in this case—just in case she used to gag him and beat him—siblings, am I right?”
Many Redditors noted that the optics of the inheritance pointed toward OP’s grandfather being misogynistic. He had left his grandson a family ranch worth a lot, while the granddaughter had received a cash inheritance that amounted to far less than the overall worth of the ranch.
One commenter said, “I’m smelling some misogynistic decision-making on Grandpa’s part. OP repeatedly said he didn’t want it, but his sister seems pretty attached to the property and is more likely to start a family since she’s married—and if she wasn’t married by the time Grandpa passed, she was likely at least in this same relationship. Given the circumstances, I can’t think of a good reason to leave it to OP vs. the sister.”
Do you think that OP’s inheritance was wrong or unfair? What should he do about his sister, who wants to keep the property in the family as his grandfather intended?
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This post first appeared as He Refused to Give the Family Ranch He Inherited to His Sister for Free. She Says He’s “Disrespecting” His Late Grandfather’s Wishes, but He Believes He Shouldn’t Be “Burdened” by a Dead Man’s Demands! on Quote Ambition.