You always assumed that your parents would order the family home to be sold after their death and the profits divided, so you were surprised to find out that they left it to you and your two siblings in equal shares.
The only problem is that you and your brethren may not fully agree with each other about what to do with the property. In fact, you may not even get along with one or both of the others, which can make negotiations particularly tense.
Short of keeping a home you don’t want and sharing ownership with people you don’t particularly like, what are your options? Here are the usual possibilities:
1. Sell the house and divide the proceeds
Naturally, this only works if everybody is in agreement about selling the property in the first place (and, of course, at what price). This could be complicated by tax considerations, so you and your siblings will need to make sure that selling won’t financially disadvantage any of you.
2. One or more siblings can buy out the other(s)
Do one or both of your siblings want to keep the house even though you don’t? If you don’t, you can let them buy you out. To do it fairly, however, you need an independent appraisal of its worth – and the knowledge that your siblings can afford to refinance or pay you for your share, so their financials may come into play.
3. You bring a partition action to force the sale
If you hit a point where progress is stalled, and it’s clear that your siblings aren’t going to move forward with any agreement that will benefit you, you may be forced to bring a partition action. This basically asks the court to step in and referee the issue. It can force your siblings to buy you out at a fair price or sell the property altogether.
You aren’t held hostage to your family’s desires, even if you inherit property jointly with some of them. If you have a complicated real estate situation, legal help is wise.