Is there a way to unlock the value of my interest in a property and then turn it into cash, even if there are other siblings?

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Is there a way to unlock the value of my interest in a property and then turn it into cash, even if there are other siblings?

My dad left me and 3 siblings a property. One sister quit claimed her 25 to my brother giving him 50%. My other sister passed away last year she has one son, and then I have 25%. I want to know how I can cash out my brother lives there and doesn’t want to sell or create a bill. My nephew wants to cash out, too. The property is paid for.

Asked on June 5, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

In a situation such as you have here, you can force a sale by employing the legal remedy of "partition". In such an action, when owners of property cannot agree as to ownership matters the court will order that the property be divided, if practical. If not (such as in the case of a single family house), it instead will order what is called a "sale in lieu of partition". This means that the property will be put on the market for fair market value and when an offer is accepted and the sale completed, the proceeds will be equitably distributed to all of the owners. First, however, if any party wants to keep the property, they will be given the chance to buy out any other owner who wants to sell.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You and/or the nephew can bring a kind of legal action (lawsuit) traditionally called an action "for partition" (your state may have a different name for this). In this action, when the owners of real estate cannot agree as to what to do with it, the court can order that the property be put up for sale and the proceeds (after paying costs of sale and any mortgages, HELOCs, liens, etc.) be divided among the owners according to their ownership interests. A real estate attorney can advise and help with this.


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