What are my options if my brother and I are joint owners of my mother’s estate and I want to sell her house and hewould like to live in it?

Asked on August 28, 2011 Maryland

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First of all, the property must be put into both of your names (if this has not already been done). Then, as joint owners, the one who wants to sell will have the right to pursue what is known as a "partition". This is a legal remedy available to co-owners of property when they cannot agree as to ownership matters.  A partition allows for the division of property if it is physically capable of being divided.  Where division would be impracticable (as in the instance of a single family dwelling) a court would order is known as a "sale in lieu of partition" and an equitable division of the proceeds among the owners.  However, it would first permit one of them to buy the other out at fair market value.

 

Note: A partition action can be a time-consuming and expensive. So see what arrangement you can come to first.


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