How to Divide Up Inherited Property

One of the largest assets that is passed in any estate is usually the family home or other real property. If this property passes through intestacy, ownership would be split among the heirs equally. On the other hand, a will may leave a house equally between multiple people or split it up into percentage shares, i.e. 60/40. What happens when one of the co-owners of inherited property wants to sell that property? It is an area of the law that can be relatively simple or very complicated depending on the situation, meaning that a Miami estate attorney needs to be involved.

Someone is allowed to transfer his or her partial interest in a property but not the actual share of the property itself. If the property is owned in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, the deed would change to tenancy in common if they did this, basically changing the inheritance rights of all of the co-owners. As for selling the actual share of the property, permission would need to be given by all of the co-owners.

Usually this is not an issue when dealing with the house in an estate case. Perhaps one sibling offers to sell his or her share to the other siblings who inherit a house and they agree, perhaps because one needs the cash more. If all of the co-owners agree, as is many times the case when family is involved, the transfer is made and the deal is done.

Where it becomes tricky is when the one who wants to sell wants to sell to a third party. If the other co-owners do not agree, the other co-owner would not be able to sell. The only thing that could be sold would be the interest in the house, for example, the percentage of rental income that would normally go to the party who sold his or her interest. However, once the way the property is owned changes due to doing this, other problems arise, such as creditors of one of the co-owners being able to attach the property and force a sale. Luckily, sale to a third party is incredibly difficult since many banks wouldn’t fund such a transaction.

If the parties absolutely cannot agree on what is to be done with property, a partition action may have to be initiated, something that should be considered a last resort. Such an action would allow a court to order the sale or auction of the property and have the proceeds distributed among the co-owners according to their ownership interests.

If you are doing estate planning and that estate includes a house or other real property, it is essential that you hire a Miami estate attorney to assist you. There are ways to distribute your home and other assets so that you can avoid having your heirs run into potential conflicts in a situation such as this one.

If you would like to speak with a Miami estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.