Can I force sale of jointly inherited property to get my share?

Question Details:Mother has died intestate. Her home is split evenly between myself, sister, and brother. My sister does not want to sell and wants her married daughter to move into the home. Additionally she wants to remodel. I am opposed to both of these issues. What can I do?

Asked 5 years ago under Real Estate | 7824 Views | More Legal Topics

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M.D., Member, California and New York Bar | FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney Answered 5 years ago

Yes, you can force a sale.  This is because of something in the law known as "partition".  The term means the equitable division of property among co-owners.  Real property held by co-owners as either a tenancy in common or a joint tenancy may be partitioned.

If a property can be physically divided (undeveloped land) the Court will instruct that it be done.  If division would be impracticable (single family house), the Court will either (1) order a sale of the property and an equitable division of the proceeds among the co-owners; or (2) order a partition which would permit one co-owner to purchase the interest of the remaining co-owner instead of a physical division of the property or a court-ordered sale.

So basically you can sell the house or your sister can buy you out.  At this point you should consult with a real estate attorney as to all of your rights. 

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