New York City has the highest-priced real estate in the country. In many estates, the family home is either the largest or, sometimes the only asset of an estate. When real estate has to be divided up amongst a few parties, such as is often the case of siblings, figuring out what to do with that property can depend on a number of different factors, especially how well those siblings get along. Regardless of what the situation is surrounding your loved one’s estate, hiring a New York estate attorney should ensure that partitioning any property goes smoothly.
Assuming that property passed to multiple people through the estate, as opposed to outside the estate, as is the case with some forms of joint ownership, there are many different options that do change depending on the circumstances.
If all of the siblings get along and can agree with each other on what to do with the property, it will usually end with the best result. One option, in that case, is that the parties can agree to sell the property and split the proceeds in equal parts. Another option is that one party can be bought out by the other party or parties. For example, a sibling can have their ownership interest bought out by the other sibling. There could be more unusual arrangements also, such as one party choosing to live in the property, with the agreement of the other parties, or possibly the parties all retaining ownership and renting the property out, while dividing the rental income and maintenance responsibilities.
This becomes more difficult when the parties don’t get along and one party refuses to sell when the others do want to dispose of the property. In a case such as that, a partition proceeding may have to be filed, where a court would decide whether or not the property would be sold, with the proceeds being divided up among the owners. If the court does order the sale, the owners are able to list the house. These partition actions are usually granted since the courts dislike forcing a party to retain ownership (and the liabilities that come with it) when they don’t want to.
While at this point the owners usually do list the property with a real estate agent and sell it, the is always a rare possibility that the party who is refusing to sell remains stubborn and will still not cooperate. This does not mean that they are able to block the sale, just that they will make it more difficult and less lucrative for everyone involved. At that point, the property would usually go to auction, where fees would be paid and a lower price would be paid for the property, and the money divided up among the owners.
If you have any need for partitioning property, whether it is through litigation or cooperatively, having a New York estate attorney on your side will make the partition go as quickly and smoothly as possible. Call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.