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


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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.