If my mother recently passed away and willed her home to her 5 surviving children, can 1 of the children sue and force the other 4 to buy her out?

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If my mother recently passed away and willed her home to her 5 surviving children, can 1 of the children sue and force the other 4 to buy her out?

Asked on October 31, 2014 under Estate Planning, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Not quite, but close; a minority property owner has the right to bring a legal action to compel the sale of the property and the distribution of the proceeds among the owners. She can't force any one or another of her siblings to buy out her interest, but she can get a court order forcing the property to be sold, and the 5 siblings will then split what it brings in. That action could be settled or resolved by one or another owner offering to buy the 5th one out at fair market value, or one or another owner (or all four other owners together) can offer to voluntarily buy her out without the need for a lawsuit.


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