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Can a partition action end your issues with inherited property?

When your parents passed away, you and your siblings each inherited equal shares of the family home, some rural property that hasn’t yet been developed or a vacation home.

At the time, it seemed like a great idea to keep the property and share in both its use and the cost of its upkeep. A few months later, however, the trouble sets in. You get angry messages from your brother because you made repairs to the property without his permission and he doesn’t like the way they look. Your sister seems to think the vacation house is her personal storage facility. Your other brother wants to keep the family home like a shrine, limiting its use.

You’re ready to sell your share, but your siblings don’t want to buy you out.

What can you do when the co-owners of a piece of real estate don’t want to sell?

You aren’t trapped in this situation forever. If you reach the point where you can’t figure out a way forward because your siblings refuse to cooperate, you can file a partition action.

In essence, a partition action is a lawsuit that asks the court to either force the sale of the property or divvy it up. Dividing the property is usually only an option when there is a large amount of land in question, so the usual alternative is to have the property sold and the proceeds divided according to each party’s ownership share.

Your siblings may ask the court to let them buy you out after all — and they may try to delay the process, but they generally cannot stop it.

Real estate issues can have a lot of complications. Fortunately, you don’t have to manage on your own. An experienced advocate can help you understand the issues, uncover your options and take the necessary steps to find a resolution to your problem.