What are a beneficiary’s rights regarding the sale of an estate asset?

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What are a beneficiary’s rights regarding the sale of an estate asset?

My father passed away late last year.and my eldest sister was named personal representative. His 6 children (myself included) named equal beneficiaries. Among is assets, he left a condo that was paid off. One of my other sisters was living with my father in the condo when he passed, she has continue to live there, paying monthly expenses like HOA fees, no rent to the estate. The personal rep and sister living there do not want to sell the condo, the rest of us would like to look into selling. What are the options? Does the personal rep have the sole decision on if we sell or not?

Asked on May 28, 2014 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Unless the house is sold by the estate, at some point it will have to be transferred into the the benficiaries' names (if your sister, as PR, drags her feet you can go to the probate court to expedite this process). After the transfer is made, any co-owner(s) can force the sale of the condo via something the law calls an action in "partition". This is the legal remedy employed when owners of jointly held property cannot agree as to it dispoation (i.e. whether or not to sell it). In such an action the court will order that the asset be divided and distributed proportionately to all of the owners. If division of the property is not practical (such as in your case), then the court will order that it be sold at fair market value, However, before it is offered to 3rd parties, any owner(s) who want(s) to retain it can agree to buy out the owner(s) who want(s) to sell; again this would be a fair market value. Upon any sale, the proceeds would be equitably distributed.

At this point, you may want to consult with a probate or real estate attorney in your area for further advice based the specific facts of your situation.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The terms of your father's Will or trust sets forth whether the condominium gets sold or not pending transfer of title to all beneficiaries. Assuming the Will or trust is silent on the sale issue then ordinarily if one beneficiary or more want to keep the unit, he or she buys out the interests of the others or there is some equalizing distribution of assets of the estate. From what you have written, I suggest that you consult with a Wills and trust attorney in your locality. One can be found on attorneypages.com.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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