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LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7629
Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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I will share a 1/2 interest in a house by inheritance. This

Customer Question

I will share a 1/2 interest in a house by inheritance. This is in California. When we inherit, I wish to remain in the house to live but the other co-owner wants to sell the house. Can she force a sale? What are my options that would allow me to remain in the house? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
My goal is to provide great service - if you have any questions, please ask. A follow up consult with a personal attorney is always recommended.
If it is a straight out inheritance (as opposed to a trust where the trust provides the living arrangements) then the parties that inherit become co-owners.
Either party can petition the court for a motion to compel the sell of the home. The court will generally allow one party to force a sale, so that that person is able to realize their inheritance's financial benefit. However, the court will generally give the other heir a right of first refusal- the chance to buy the property before it is offered to the public or other third parties.
Sometimes, the heirs will voluntarily work out an agreement where they determine what the fair rental value of the home is, and the heir residing in the home pays 1/2 that amount to the non-resident heir, to compensate them for their one half ownership.
If the property is large enough (ie acreage) an heir can bring a partition request versus a request to sell the home. This essentially divides the property so that each heir owns their own 1/2, as opposed to each heir owning an undivided 50% interest.
Again, that is only for larger properties that can be divided.
If there is a mortgage on the property, and a relative of the deceased owner lives in the home, federal law protects the relative, allowing the relative to continue paying on the current mortgage rather than having to refinance the loan.
When there are co-owners and one wishes to live in the residence, it is best to hire an independent appraiser to determine fair rental value.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is the name of the federal law and does it allow the relative to remain in the house?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it does allow the relative to remain in the house.
The federal law is:
Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/12/1701j-3
It essentially precludes the lender from exercising the due on sale clause.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
Here is a link to help locate an attorney in case you decide to make a purchase offer to the co-owner heir:
www.findlegalhelp.org and http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm
Of course, should you have other questions please do not hesitate to post here.
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