Can my 2 siblings take full ownership of our inherited house if I refuse to pay part of the property tax, insurance or maintenance?

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Can my 2 siblings take full ownership of our inherited house if I refuse to pay part of the property tax, insurance or maintenance?

Our late mom left me and my 2 siblings her home. My brother, the executor of her Trust or Will, said that he would not share details with me but has been living there ever since my mom was moved to a nursing home. He’s been using her money to renovate more like neglect it and is now in worse condition and cannot be rented out, pay expenses. To avoid fights, I leave him alone. My sister moved in with him later. They didn’t want to sell the house because they want to live in it. My problem is that they want me to pay 1/3 of the property tax insurance. Knowing my brother, he’d make me pay for maintenance too. I had asked them to sell it or buy out my share. They agree to buy out my share but they want to pay in installment. I don’t mind that if only they are credible and they are definitely and absolutely not our mom also left us $100,000 each. The house is worth around $800,000 as is. I told them if they give me $100,000 each, I’ll sell them my share. They have not responded. I then asked them to pay the taxes insurance in full, once the house is sold the proceed divided equally, then I will reimburse them. They claim that if I don’t pay, I will lose ownership of the house. Is this true? What shall I do? I live in southern CA and the house is in northern CA. If I file for partition, do I have to file it in northern CA where the house is? or can I file electronically? It would be extremely difficult for me to travel there because of my work. I have 3 jobs and work on weekends too. What is the best solution for me?

Asked on October 23, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you will not lose ownership if you don't pay a share of the expenses. All that could happen is that if this ends up before a court, such as if you bring a lawsuit to force the sale of the home (as you could), or the home is sold and you and they end up in court fighting over who gets how much of the proceeds, a court may very well take account of th fact that you are not paying these essential costs and reduce your share of any proceeds appropriately. So you could lose money you would otherwise have gotten at any eventual sale due to this, but they can't take your ownership or share of the house away from you.


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