If a will names more than one person to receive a piece of property, can on person demand cash value instead?

UPDATED: Jun 11, 2009

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If a will names more than one person to receive a piece of property, can on person demand cash value instead?

A house and the property it sits on was left to me and another individual. The other person has toyed with the idea of moving out but says that I would need to pay him 50% of the cash value of the property if he did. I would just like to learn more about the legal issues that are involved in this matter.

Asked on June 11, 2009 under Estate Planning, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Okay, it is unclear what exactly you are asking.  You and another person were left a house and a piece of property.  He lives there.  Do you? Has the Will been probated and the property been transferred? Were there any conditions listed on the deed (rights of survivorship)?  Now that you are both on the deed he wants out. He has offered to sell you his share for his half of the cash value of the property (you mean what is is worth).  The Estate may have done an appraisal of the property for estate tax purposes.  You should have a copy.  If the co-owner wants out he can, under certain circumstances, force a sale (like if the property is financially burdensome, etc).   He has offered you a right of first refusal.  Seems reasonable.  What the "legal issues" are depend on what you want to do with the property.  Decide what that is and go and see an attorney with all the relevant documents (Will, deed, appraisal, etc.).  Good luck. 

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