Dear Real Estate Ethicist,

Ten years ago, my sister lent me $10,000 so I could buy my first house. We had a handshake deal that when I sold the house, I would pay her back, without interest. Well, I sold my house but since that time my sister died.

Her estate went to my brother-in-law who was a cheating jerk that my sis loved until the day she died. He has no clue about the deal we made.

I really do not want to turn over the funds to this sleaze? – In-law Spite

Dear In-law Spite,

Do you know the notion: lies by commission and omission?

It sounds like you may be doing the latter by not coming clean with your bro-in-law. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t turn it over to him either, unless there are children involved. Otherwise, let what is unknown remain unknown.

But do yourself a favor, ask an attorney. This dude may not be worth going to jail over. – Real Estate Ethicist


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