What is my legal recourse if my brothers sell our beer distributorship with property/building as part of deal but without my consent?

My 3 siblings and I have a family Trust partnership where each of us own

25% of the land and building and 2 of my siblings own a beverage distributorship company that is located on the property we all share. We all receive rental income distributions monthly and 2 of us, who do not own the other business, have come to depend on. Now 2 of the brothers are going to sell the beverage business but the deal is contingent on buying the property/building as part of the deal. The other 2 of us were not consulted and it will greatly affect our livelihoods for the next 10 or so years; there will be 900K in lost rental income plus future increase in property value. The

brother who runs the business is only 57 and we thought that he would work until full retirement age before selling. He plans to continue running the business but will have a minority interest after the sale. What legal recourse do I and my other brother who is not part of the beer business have? This transaction was sprung this on us without any consideration for our needs and it is planning to close in late next month.

Asked on August 27, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can stop the sale with a court order, which you can get by filing a legal action (lawsuit): it takes a majority of the ownership or control to sell assets, but if there are four of you, each with 25% and two of you (owning between you 50%) do want and did not consent to the sale, the other two cannot sell. Procedurally, getting a court order on short notice can be difficult; retain an attorney to help. The important thing is, with four equal owners, it takes three of them to make a sale of assets happen.


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