What can be done if 3 out of 4 beneficiaries of real estate want to sell but the other them does not?

My father died over 2 years ago. He left my sister as executor and beneficiary with myself my daughter and my brother as beneficiaries. All 4 of us. My sister is renting the house (one house not anything else) for $1200 a month which is $1100 less than current rate. This is for trade work for rent. He has rented over 2 years. My brother, daughter and I want to sell. She says she wants to keep renting it because she doesn’t have the heart to give him notice due to a sick child. His parents live next door and have 4 empty bedrooms where he could live. She hasn’t given us a report now for over 2 years as requested. Can she hang on to the house as long as she wants despite our hardship?

Asked on March 11, 2015 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation.  You actually hit on the right words to force her to sell: hardship.  There is something known as an action for Partition where you ask the court to divide an interest in an asset that is jointly owned.  If it is money in an account the court divides it equally.   But if it is a house the court can not divide it so they generally order it sold and the proceeds split.  Good luck. 


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