If our stepfather died left his house to my sister and I, what recourse do I have to stay in the house if she tries to sell it to someone else?

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If our stepfather died left his house to my sister and I, what recourse do I have to stay in the house if she tries to sell it to someone else?

What do I need to do to buy her out legally?

Asked on July 10, 2015 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

When co-owners of property (either real or personal) cannot come to agreement about ownership matters, then a "partiton" action can be filed in court. If it is practical to divide the property, the court will so order; if not (as in the case of a single family house), then the court will order that the property be sold. However, before it is offered to a third party, it will first be offered to the party who wants to keep the property. Accordingly, that party may buy out the other party for fair market value.

Note: This above assumes that the house is now in both of your names. If not, either the executor (if there is a Will) or the personal representative (if there was no Will), will determine whether or not the property is can be sold.


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