If property is inherited subject to a family contract, are the heirs subject to it?

There are 3 brothers who independently own adjacent properties. They signed a contract with one another, filed in court, which states that the properties cannot be individually sold without approval from all 3 parcel owners and that proceeds would be split evenly in the event of sale. The contract also stipulates that this would be valid for all successive heirs of the property. As an heir of the property,

am I legally bound to honor this contract even though I was not a party to it?

Asked on September 12, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Without seeing the actual document, the best answer I can give you is 'maybe.' 
It sounds like the properties in question have restrictive covenants.  If they are properly worded, then the covenants transfer to any subsequent owners.  This is similar to someone buying a home that requires ownership in a homeowner's association--every subsequent owner inherits the restriction.  If the covenant restriction is not properly worded, then it will be considered void, and you would be able to sell the property without dividing it as originally planned.
To know for sure, you need to have the documents reviewed by a real estate and/or probate attorney.  Depending on the wording of the restrictions, you may have other options.

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