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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30167
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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My Wife inherited a beach house with 9 other family members

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My Wife inherited a beach house with 9 other family members a few years ago. Market was bad and a trust was setup to take care of the house. market is up and the trust is out of money 2 of the 9 right now want to sell. Most of the family members don't talk to each and some have family memories and don't want to sell. What is the best option for getting out of our share of the house? I offered to sell my share at a discounted level, but I don't think any of the other family members have money. I'm also concerned from a liability stand point that my wife's name is XXXXX XXXXX deed. Thanks for the help.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

The law will not require a person to remain a joint owner of real property with someone if he has expressed that he no longer wishes to do so, and the other owners will not help him. That means that, if you cannot get the other owners to buy you out, you have the right to bring a suit in civil court. The judge can order one of two things:
1. If they can afford it (or get a loan), the judge will allow them to buy you out.
2. If none of the other owners can afford to buy you out, the property can be listed and sold, and the proceeds split 9 ways.

I understand that there are a lot of memories in the house. The same thing happened when my grandmother passed several years ago. But it's not considered fair to force people to hold onto property they don't want, don't use, or don't benefit from (or even if they just plain need the money more), because other people want to keep their memories. Memories live on, even after the house is sold. It's a sad situation, but a judge would rule in your favor.

As a practical matter, if would probably be easier for the two of you who want to sell to file suit jointly as plaintiffs, but that's a personal choice. If he's not a co-plaintiff, you have to name him as a defendant, even if he agrees with you (and he might prefer to be on your side). Because it is family, before filing suit, many people would choose to send a letter, via certified mail, to all the other owners, outlining the situation and explaining that your wife is prepared to go to court if no one will buy her out or agree to sell the house.

Good luck.
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