If I inherited 1/3 of house and want to sell but the other 2 owners, my brother and sister want to keep it, what are my options?

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If I inherited 1/3 of house and want to sell but the other 2 owners, my brother and sister want to keep it, what are my options?

Our parents died a year or so ago. I am the executer of dad’s Will; my sister is now executer of my mother’s Will because I gave it to her. I have put over $15,000 in supplies and labor into the house over the last 4 months and lined up a real estate agent. Now my sister and my brother want to keep the house. The Wills state that the estate is to be divided 3 ways equally. I want my third with the intentions of moving and relocating down south.

Asked on February 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can force the sale of the property, once probate is complete and it is owned by you and your two siblings (and not the estate). The law allows a property owner who cannot agree with his/her co-owners as to what to do with the property to bring what is traditionally called an action "for partition" (though your state may have a different name for it). That is, you can bring a lawsuit asking the court to order that the property be sold and the proceeds (after paying costs of sale and any mortgage) be distributed among the owners; the action can settled by your siblings (if they want to) buying you out. If you wish to consider this option, consult with a real estate attorney.


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