and Your Family
Selling Your Half of a Jointly Owned Home
One of the most valuable parts of a decedent's estate is the family home. This is particularly true in New York where the value of real estate is among the highest in the nation. Even though inheriting a family house may mean inheriting significant wealth, if the house is left to two or more siblings or other relatives, it may also mean complications and even conflict. If the house is, for example, left to two family members, they each may have different ideas as to what should happen with the house. One owner may want to keep it and live in in it, while the other may want to sell it as they are in need of cash. While it may not be the preferred solution for both family members the only solution may be to divide the property. However, there are a variety of issues that must be examined when considering how to divide a family home. If you are struggling with selling your half of a jointly owned home, contact an experienced New York estate lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates who will help you arrive at a solution that protects your interests.
- Options for Dividing a Co-Owned Family House
- Co-owner Selling Their Interest
- Partitioning the House
The options for how to divide a family house or for selling your half of a jointly owned home depend on a variety of factors including the design of the house, the ownership interests of the co-owners, and the wishes of all parties involved. The options include:
If only one of the co-owners who wishes to sell, the co-owner wishing to sell can may try to sell their interest. As a New York estate lawyer will explain, the least complicated way to do that is to sell their interest to the other co-owner. However, the other co-owner must be willing and able to buy. If they are not, then they cannot be forced to buy.
You can then consider selling your property to a third party. This may present problems as a third party may not be willing to purchase a partial interest in the house. In addition, the remaining co-owner may not be happy with being stuck owning the house with a stranger who they may not like. In the absence of finding a willing buyer who is acceptable to the co-owner, this option is not viable.
Partitioning the house is a legal proceeding during which the court is asked to step in order an make a determination about the interests of the various owners of a house or other real estate. The result of a partition proceeding is that the court will order the house to be partitioned or it will be order the house to be sold.
A partition involves the court dividing the property and assigning ownership to each part of it. For example, if the house included an apartment on the first floor and one on the second floor, the court might determine that the each co-owners owns of the apartment. Once the property is partitioned, each owner can do with the part they own as they please. However, the court will not resort this this option if the house is not easily divisible and the result would be inequitable to one of the co-owners. To learn more about when a partition is practical and when it is not, contact an experienced estate attorney serving New York.
The result of a partition action could be that the judge orders that the house be sold. This is the likely result if the house is a traditional home that is not easily divided. The proceeds of the sale would be divided among the co-owners according to their interest in the house. This may be the best option for selling your half of a jointly owned home if you and the other co-owner are unable to settle the matter on your own.
When multiple family members inherit a house or purchase a house together, and end up having different opinions as to what should happen to it, the court may have to step in and render a judgement on the matter. The experienced estate attorneys in New York attorneys at Stephen Bilkis & Associates have extensive experience helping clients dispose of property they co-own others. Contact us at 800-696-9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.