What to do if my grandfather passed away 9 years ago and left his 2 sons, my sister and I property?

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What to do if my grandfather passed away 9 years ago and left his 2 sons, my sister and I property?

My sister and I received my mother’s 1/3; 2 of the 3 parts of the inheritance wants to sell but 1 doesn’t. He has not paid taxes on the property in many years and cannot buy us out. Can we force a sale?

Asked on June 15, 2013 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Hello. This matter sounds like one for a partition action but you need to contact a private attorney in your state for assistance. Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will confer initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys may also assist you in limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Once the property is in all 3 names, then the 2 who want to sell can file a "partition action". This is a legal remedy that the courst employ when co-owners of property cannot agree as to matters of ownership (in this case, whether or not to sell). Pursuant to such an action, the court will either divide the property, if posssible. If not, it will order a sale with the proceeds to be distributed equitably. However, the court will first instruct that any owner can buy out the others for fair market value, if they choose to do so.

That all having been said, there are time and expense factors to be considered. Therefore, you should try to work something out prior to commencing any lawsuit.


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