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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55715
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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Good morning; My name isXXXXX and I have a question.

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Good morning; My name isXXXXX and I have a question. My mother in law passed away two years ago, and willed 13 lots in Sergent Texas to 13 grand/great grand children. Three of which are my children. 19, 11, 6, years of age. The problem is, there is only 1 Deed for all 13 lots, and they were not designated by heir. I would like my Sons to have their Property. How can we solve this problem? Thanks Jerry XXX-XXX-XXXX
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. These lots are not your sister in law's personal piggy bank. And, as executor, she has a fiduciary duty to each and every beneficiary. So, if any beneficiary objects to the sale and the estate does not need to money from the sale of lots to pay expenses of the estate, a title company is going to require the beneficiaries to consent to the sale in order to issue a clear title policy to the buyer. You should send the executor a letter by certified mail on behalf of your sons objecting to any sale of the properties and that the executor and beneficiaries either agree to an equitable division and distribution of the lots among beneficiaries or, if the beneficiaries cannot agree upon who gets which lots that the executor distribute the lots to all beneficiaries in undivided 1/13 interests. At that point, if the beneficiaries cannot come to an agreement upon what to do with the lots, you can file a suit for partition. The result of that suit will be one of the following: i) if the property can be equitably subdivided, the court will order the property divided into smaller parcels with each owner then owning 100% of their own smaller tract with full control over that tract; or ii) if the property cannot be equitably subdivided, the court will order the property sold and the proceeds divided. Since these lots should be able to be equitably split up, the court will likely do so. The reality is that in most cases, once the owners find out the certainty of the result of a suit for partition, that/those owner(s) typically agrees/agree upon a division without the suit to avoid the costs of the suit.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can I file partition on only 3 lots?

Thanks for following up. What would actually happen if the beneficiaries cannot agree how to divide them up, the executor would need to distribute all 13 lots in undivided 1/13 interests to all beneficiaries. Your suit for partition would then be to ask the court to divide the lots equitably among the 13 beneficiaries, if it's possible, so that each beneficiary owns 100% of one lot. If the lots are basically the same size and of the same value, then it's likely the court will do this. If the lots are of different values and/or sizes, then it becomes a more difficult process.
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