What legal recourse exists to force a family member to pay for property and buy the other owners out?
Question Details: Parents died and the deed to their home is now in the names of 4 siblings. However, 1 sibling lives in the home and will not address a buy out with the other 3 siblings who have talked to him repeatedly about paying the other siblings and owning the house free and clear.
In such a situation the law provides the legal remedy of "partition" which is available to co-owners of property when they cannot agree as to ownership matters. Partition allows for the division of a property among co-owners. Accordingly, if a property can be physically divided the court will so instruct. However, where division would be impracticable (as in the instance of a single family house) the court would order a "sale in lieu of partition". Upon sale, there would be an equitable division of the proceeds among the co-owners. However, before allowing a sale to a 3rd party, the court would permit any co-owner(s) to purchase the interest of the remaining co-owner(s) at fair market value.