Q: Our father just died, and we would like to see that our brother stays in the house, which doesn’t have any mortgage. Two siblings need the money from their share now, and one can wait.

Our brother’s income is limited and he might not be able to afford payments on a home equity loan. Reverse mortgages look very expensive. What are our options, and should we talk to a financial planner or a lawyer?

A: My condolences on the loss of your father.

Unless your brother is age 62 or older, a reverse mortgage won’t be an option. If everyone else wants their money, it will limit what you can do for your brother. But just because the house doesn’t have a mortgage doesn’t mean it’s the right financial move for him.

If he can’t afford home equity loan payments, then you should probably consider selling the property (if you can in this economic climate), dividing up the estate and buying him something smaller or arranging for him to receive some additional income from his share of the estate.

I’d talk to a financial planner who can look at the assets and income from the estate and help the entire family figure out what options you have.

Jan. 19, 2009.