If I inherited 1/3 of house and want to sell but the other 2 owners, my brother and sister want to keep it, what are my options?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I inherited 1/3 of house and want to sell but the other 2 owners, my brother and sister want to keep it, what are my options?

Our parents died a year or so ago. I am the executer of dad’s Will; my sister is now executer of my mother’s Will because I gave it to her. I have put over $15,000 in supplies and labor into the house over the last 4 months and lined up a real estate agent. Now my sister and my brother want to keep the house. The Wills state that the estate is to be divided 3 ways equally. I want my third with the intentions of moving and relocating down south.

Asked on February 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can force the sale of the property, once probate is complete and it is owned by you and your two siblings (and not the estate). The law allows a property owner who cannot agree with his/her co-owners as to what to do with the property to bring what is traditionally called an action "for partition" (though your state may have a different name for it). That is, you can bring a lawsuit asking the court to order that the property be sold and the proceeds (after paying costs of sale and any mortgage) be distributed among the owners; the action can settled by your siblings (if they want to) buying you out. If you wish to consider this option, consult with a real estate attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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