What is a co-owner’s right to buy out the other co-owners of inherited real estate?

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What is a co-owner’s right to buy out the other co-owners of inherited real estate?

IF MY 2 BROTHERS AND I INHERITED MY DAD’S SHARE OF MY GRANDPARENT’S HOUSE, DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE BOUGHT OUT IF MY AUNT WANTS TO STAY IN THE HOUSE? IF SO, HOW LONG DOES SHE HAVE TO BUY US OUT OF OUR SHARE? 

Asked on March 5, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It's not clear form your question, whether or not you don't want to sell to anyone or just to your aunt.  However, in general when co-owners of property cannot agree on ownership matters, they can go to court and file an action for "partition".  This is legal remedy that allows for the division of jointly held property.  Accordingly, if a property can be physically divided the judge will instruct that it be done.  However, where division would be impracticable (as in the case of a single family house), a judge would order a sale "in lieu of partition" an equitable distribution of the proceeds among the co-owners would be ordered.  However, before doing so, the court would permit 1 co-owner to purchase the interest of the remaining co-owner9s) at fair market value


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