Do all siblings have to agree to sell their deceased parents’ home?

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Do all siblings have to agree to sell their deceased parents’ home?

Both my parents have passed away and neither of them had a Will. The owned a home that had nothing owed on it. Their 6 children all agreed to sell the home and split the profits equally. There has been an offer placed on the home and we want to accept it. However, 1 sister now refuses to have any contact with the family. Does she have to sign for the sell of the house or can we just give her the share she is owed? If her signature is required, are there legal measures to take to force her to sign?

Asked on October 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The siblings who want to sell have the right to pursue the legal remedy of "partition". This is a legal action available to co-owners of property when they cannot agree as to ownership matters, icluding whether or not to sell the property.  Such an action allows for the division of property among co-owners if the property can be physically divided. However, where division would be impracticable (as in the instance of a single family dwelling) a judge would order a sale in lieu of partition and an equitable division of the proceeds among the co-owners.  Before doing so however, the court would permit one co-owner to purchase the interest of the remaining co-owner for fair market value.


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