How do we go about getting the probate court to make a decision regarding an inherited farm that we want to sell?

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How do we go about getting the probate court to make a decision regarding an inherited farm that we want to sell?

We have inherited 25% of a farm and are still in probate. The other 3 siblings do not want to sell the farm but no one from the family is farming it. They want to keep the farm but yet, don’t want to buy us out or if they do they want to rip us off. So the only way that we feel can get a fair deal is to let probate decide. We feel that have no other choice but to let probate decide. How do we go about letting them decide? We have been in probate for just about 6 months. We have not heard anything concerning when it is finished.

Asked on April 25, 2011 under Estate Planning, Iowa

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The beneficiaries (who be the co-owners) will need to petiton the court and file for a "partition".  This is legal remedy in a case where joint owners cannot agree as to the running of the property and related matters (such as this).  In a partition if a property can be physically divided the Court will so instruct.  However, where division would be impracticable (as with a single family dwelling), the Court will order a sale in lieu of partition wherein there would be a sale of the property and an equitable division of the proceeds among the co-owners.  However, before it would be ordered, the court would permit one co-owner to purchase the interest of the remaining co-owner at fair market value.


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