How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LegalGems Your Own Question
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10484
Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
LegalGems is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

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: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 2 years 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.
If you have further questions please be sure and respond before rating. If you have no further questions, Kindly rate positively so that the site is permitted to credit my account for assisting you- there is no additional charge for a positive rating and it is most appreciated.
Without a positive rating, I receive no compensation for assisting you this evening.
Thank you and take care!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What is the name of the federal law and does it allow the relative to remain in the house?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it does allow the relative to remain in the house.
The federal law is:
Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982
It essentially precludes the lender from exercising the due on sale clause.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 2 years ago.
Here is a link to help locate an attorney in case you decide to make a purchase offer to the co-owner heir: and
Of course, should you have other questions please do not hesitate to post here.
If you found the information I provided useful, kindly rate positive as that is the only way the site is allowed to credit me so that I am compensated for the time I spent- which does not result in additional charges to the customer.
Thank you for extending this courtesy as I am an individual contributor so ratings are quite important , and take care!