What to do if 2 out of 3 beneficiaries do not want to sell inherited property?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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What to do if 2 out of 3 beneficiaries do not want to sell inherited property?

I inherited property from my mother that is jointly owned by 2 other parties and myself. I wish to sell the property and divide the proceeds. The other 2 heirs do not wish to sell the property or divide it up. Is there a legal way to make them sell or buy my share out.

Asked on August 22, 2011 Kentucky


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all, the property must be put into the beneficiaries' names. Once this is done, as co-owners, the ones who want to sell will have the right to pursue what is known as a "partition". This is a legal remedy available to co-owners of property when they cannot agree as to ownership matters.  A partition allows for the division of property among co-owners if the property physically capable of being divided.  Where division would be impracticable (as in the instance of a single family residence) a court would order is known as a "sale in lieu of partition" and an equitable division of the proceeds among the owners.  However, it would first permit co-owners to purchase the interest of the remaining co-owner at fair market value.

Note: A partition action can be a time-consuming and expensive. So perhaps once the other 2 owners are informed as to this they will come around regarding the sale.

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