## Thursday, November 5, 2009

### Inheritance Puzzle

One real estate magnate left three mansions to his five sons. Unable to figure out how to divide three by five, they went to an estate attorney. Attorney recommended that three older brothers will take one mansion each and that each would pay \$800,000 to the youngest brothers, making inheritance equal. How much worth are the mansions?

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Anonymous said...

Each house is worth 1.2 million, as that is what each of the younger two sons received from their brothers.

Maria said...

Very concise and very true.
Three older brothers pay \$800,000 each, giving two younger brothers \$2,400,000. So, each younger brother gets \$1,200,000.
As the inheritance is divided equally, each mansion should be worth the same.
In our magical puzzle land there are no attorney fees or real estate taxes. Life is good!
Expect a new puzzle tomorrow and perhaps Kim will be in it.

Dear Anonymous, you deserve to be listed among our best puzzle solvers. Feel free to put your name below. Everyone who solved three puzzles got a prize.

Giovanni Ciriani said...

Each house is worth \$2,000,000. After giving away \$800,000, each older brother is left with a net worth of \$1,200,000. Meanwhile the younger brothers share the distribution from of \$800,000 x 3 = \$2,400,000 and each gets \$1,200,000.

It seems to me that in the previous proposed solution, each older brother is instead left with a net worth of \$1,200,000 - \$800,000 = \$400,000. So it can't be an equitable distribution.

Maria said...

Giovanni, you are absolutely right.
We completely forgot that mansion is not one person's share of inheritance. Older brothers had to take \$800,000 in mortgage each to pay the youngest brothers. Therefore each mansion is \$1,200,000 + \$800,000 = \$2,000,000

The magnate left 3 mansions, \$2,000,000 each and \$6,000,000 total to his five sons.
Thank you for correcting me and please never hesitate to do it again. We are here to get the truth and have fun with numbers.
I never take away the points, but I will add one to Giovanni.