My parents died and my sister is living in their house

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My parents died and my sister is living in their house

How long can she live there before we can sell the house.

Asked on January 8, 2019 under Estate Planning, Utah

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Whoever is in charge of the estate (the executor if there is a Will or the administrator if there is no Will), is now in charge of your parents' estate and this includes the house. Accordingly, they have the right to give notice to your sister to move and can file to evict her if necessary. If the estate has already been closed, then assuming you and your siblings awere all beneficiaries of the estate, as equal owners each of you has a right to live in the house indefinitely. Accordingly, you cannot just move your sister out. However, in cases when joint owners cannot agree as to ownership matters (such as in this case), then you can file in court for a "partition".  This is a legal remedy whereby the court will order that the property be divided, if possible. If not (such as in the case of a single family house), it will order 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 distributed equitably to all of the owners. First, however, the party who wants to keep the property will be given the chance to buy out any other owner who wants to sell.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Whoever is in charge of the estate (the executor if there is a Will or the administrator if there is no Will), is now in charge of your parents' estate and this includes the house. Accordingly, they have the right to give notice to your sister to move and can file to evict her if necessary. If the estate has already been closed, then assuming you and your siblings awere all beneficiaries of the estate, as equal owners each of you has a right to live in the house indefinitely. Accordingly, you cannot just move your sister out. However, in cases when joint owners cannot agree as to ownership matters (such as in this case), then you can file in court for a "partition".  This is a legal remedy whereby the court will order that the property be divided, if possible. If not (such as in the case of a single family house), it will order 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 distributed equitably to all of the owners. First, however, the party who wants to keep the property will be given the chance to buy out any other owner who wants to sell.


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