What state would have to force the sale of inherited property if the deceased was domiciled in one state but the property in question is located in another state?

My mother passed away almost 17 months ago. She lived with my brother in his home in PA and was a legal resident of there. She owned a 4 family dwelling in NJ and the Will named my brother, 2 sisters and I as the beneficiaries. None of us want the home and told him we’d like it sold. Despite being sworn in as the executor, he’s done nothing and stopped speaking to all of us. I’m confused as that what court I need to go to to force the sale of the home being that mom lived in PA but the asset willed to us in equal shares is in NJ. What state would have to issue the order the home to be sold?

Asked on August 29, 2011 New Jersey


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation that has resulted.  Your brother as executor has to have an ancillary proceeding done in the state of New jErysey in order to do anything with the property there, i.e., to transfer title  And you and your siblings would have to bring an action for partition of the property - which is asking the court to split the property between its owners - in the state of New Jersey.  What will happen is that the court will order the property sold and then split the proceeds, since you can not split property down the middle ( or in to fourths).  But you need to have a valid reason for requesting partition, like the hosue is a birden finaicially.  Seek some legal help.  With the house as well as with moving your brother along.  Good luck.

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