It is a common occurrence that multiple owners of a piece of real property cannot agree on what to do with, or how to dispose of, the property. Take, for example, a situation where four (4) siblings each inherit a one-quarter (1/4) interest in home in which they grew up upon the passing of their last surviving parent. Two of the siblings feel strong emotional ties to the home and want the home to stay in the family while the other two siblings prefer to sell the property and divide any proceeds equally.
Whether it be you or your siblings who have inherited property from your parents and find yourself in a similar situation or you and a business partner who purchased an investment property together, disagreements arise and agreements cannot always be reached to the collective owners’ mutual satisfaction. If you and your co-owners cannot reach an agreement regarding what to do with the real property that you own (such as one owner purchasing the other owner’s in the home from you), you may petition the Court to “partition” the real property. In most circumstances, an in-kind partition of the real property is not feasible (“in-kind” meaning the property is physically split according to the parties’ respective ownership interests). In those circumstances, a sale in lieu of partition would be the most appropriate way for you and the other owner(s) to each receive your interest in the home.
Once the necessary Petition to Partition has been filed and approved by the Clerk of Court, a commissioner is appointed to handle the sale of the home. Upon its sale, and after satisfying any creditors claims (including the commissioner’s fees) and reimbursing owners for recoverable paid expenses, the remaining proceeds from the sale (if any) would be split between you and the co-owner(s) as per your respective ownership interests. At Conrad, Trosch & Kemmy, we have an Estate Planning and Probate section, as well as a Civil Litigation team, who are able to assist you with any issues that may arise through your ownership of real property.