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What happens if you inherit property with a sibling?

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2024 | Probate Administration |

Parents usually try to be as fair as possible to their children, even once those children become adults. It isn’t unusual for them to leave their homes to their adult children in equal shares.

For parents, this can be a great plan. For the siblings that inherit, this can be a disaster waiting to happen. Siblings don’t always agree on what should be done with real property.

What are the options?

Generally speaking, if you inherit property with a sibling (or several siblings), you only have a few options:

  • One sibling can buy out the interest of the other(s)
  • You can agree to rent out the property and split the profits
  • You can agree to co-own and share the property
  • You can sell the property and divide the proceeds

It seems pretty simple, but things are rarely that easy when there are a lot of emotions involved.

What happens if you can’t agree?

Maybe you can’t agree on what should happen – or maybe you agree but your sibling is dragging their feet for either financial or emotional reasons. If it reaches the point where you feel like continuing to try to navigate the situation on your own is impossible, it may be time for a partition action.

A partition action is a legal proceeding that allows co-owners of real property (such as siblings who inherit a property together) to seek a court-ordered division or sale of the property when they cannot agree on its use, management or disposition. In essence, this forces each sibling to make some hard decisions while freeing up those locked-in assets for other uses.

If you’ve inherited a property with your sibling(s) and you can’t agree on what should happen now, seeking legal guidance may help you find a way forward.

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