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Loren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 28537
Experience:  30 years experience in the practice of estate law.
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My sister and I inherited my father's property in Hurley,

Customer Question

My sister and I inherited my father's property in Hurley, Wisconsin and both of our names now are on the property deed. My issue is that my sister and brother in law verbally agreed to purchase my portion (50%) of the property in April for 1/2 of the Tax assessment value and have since moved up there and been residing in the residence (which has no liens) since May and only paying the utilities claiming that they are not able to get the required financing to purchase my portion. What are my legal options to resolve this, if any?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

Good afternoon. I am Loren. a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

Unfortunately, the statute of frauds requires any agreement to purchase real property must be in writing to be enforceable. So, you do not really have a breach of contract claim. You may need to sue for an equitable remedy known as a "partition". If real property is owned concurrently by two or more persons then any of the interested parties may bring an action to "partition" the property which, effectively, requests the court to physically divide or, alternatively, order the sale of the property and division of the proceeds. The action is called a Partition Action and for people with concurrent interests (currently existing) who have not "waived" the right to partition, this remedy is an absolute right. The demand for partition must be granted by the Court to such plaintiffs -- although the details of the order can vary widely. The "order" for the sale is typically an Interlocutory Judgment of Partition by Sale, either issued soon after the lawsuit is filed but sometimes not until all of the financial and legal issues are resolved.

Partition actions must be filed in the county where the property is located. Any person with an existing or future interest in the property may bring the action.

The court has broad equitable powers to protect the interests of all concerned, to prevent waste and to otherwise protect the interests of the owners. In a significant portion of the cases, one of the parties is in possession of the property, whether residing therein in a residential context or operating a business therefrom in a commercial context. There may be issues of fair rental value, payment of the mortgage, insurance, and maintenance expenses, or preservation and distribution of rental receipts. The court may require the parties to contribute funds to the operation of the property, to grant access to the property to various persons including the referee, and to make whatever other arrangements are necessary to preserve the asset and to separate the dispute over the property from the efforts to get it sold.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

If you have no further questions, and have not yet done so, please remember to leave a favorable rating (5 stars) so that I am credited by JustAnswer for assisting you. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

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