Can we force the sale of a jointly inherited property?

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Can we force the sale of a jointly inherited property?

My mother got screwed over on inheritance. Her sister never cared until grandma was on last leg and swooped in and convinced my grandma to change the will a bit. The will now says we get money after the lake property sells at a price they see fit. Before it was 50/50 everything. It has been 2 years and they are asking for a ridiculous amount that clearly won’t sell. Can they do that so my mom dies and us kids so all her sisters side gets it all?

Asked on February 6, 2017 under Estate Planning, Minnesota

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Once the house is your names, you can pursue what is called an action in "partition". This is a legal remedy that is employed when owners of jointly held property (either real or personal) cannot agree as to ownership matters. In such an action, if a property can be equally divided, then the court will so instruct. However, in the event that the it cannot be divided (as in the case of a single family house), then the court will order what is known as a "sale in lieu of partition". This means that the property will be sold and the prceeds distributed equitably among all the owners. That having been said, because a partition can be costly and time consuming, it is advisable for the owners to try an work out an agreement.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Once the house is your names, you can pursue what is called an action in "partition". This is a legal remedy that is employed when owners of jointly held property (either real or personal) cannot agree as to ownership matters. In such an action, if a property can be equally divided, then the court will so instruct. However, in the event that the it cannot be divided (as in the case of a single family house), then the court will order what is known as a "sale in lieu of partition". This means that the property will be sold and the prceeds distributed equitably among all the owners. That having been said, because a partition can be costly and time consuming, it is advisable for the owners to try an work out an agreement.


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