What can be done if co-owners of inherited property disagree as to its disposition?

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What can be done if co-owners of inherited property disagree as to its disposition?

I am the executor of my father’s estate.He has left his home to my brother and I; everything else had been distributed. My brother and his wife are currently living in the home and pay 1/2 of property taxes and the homeowner’s insurance yearly. They do not want to move, buy the home or let me sell it so that I can get my share of my inheritance. Can I force them to move or what rights do I have?

Asked on August 7, 2014 under Estate Planning, Montana

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and the issues here.  As executor you have great power to do what is best and what were the wishes of your Father.  So if you needed to sell the house to pay estate debt then you could.  But you walk a fine line here since you are the co-beneficiary of the property as well. In "regular" circumstances you could bring an action for "Partition" which asks the court to split the asset in half.  With a house that can not be done so generally the court orders it sold and the proceeds split.  I would consider transferring ownership to you both via Executor's deed then close the estate then bring the action for partition. One of the problems with doing it as executor is that you will be using estate funds and that may not be wise, even if lawful.  Good luck.


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