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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31787
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My father recently left his house to me and my 3 siblings.

Customer Question

My father recently left his house to me and my 3 siblings. One of my sisters is mentally incompetent and living somewhere (we know the city, but not where; she has no address) unknown. We have a "Lady Bird" deed on the home.
A real estate lawyer in Texas said that we need to file a partition suit, but this doesn't seem right or necessary. Isn't there some way to sell the house and to put my sister's portion into some kind of trust which she can access?
Do we have to search for her on the streets of Houston and get her officially declared incompetent? She has a long record of problems with police, and the court has forced her to be institutionalized at least once.
Any suggestions on what to do or where to seek help would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.
What the lawyer is telling you is correct. The ONLY way you can sell the property without your sister's consent/participation would be through a partition lawsuit......which is a case that forces the sale. If you file the partition, get an order to sell the house and eventually sell the property, you could then place this sister's portion in a savings account for her.....but you cannot do it without a court order (IF SHE WILL NOT VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATE AND SIGN THE DEED).
The reason is that you and your other siblings cannot give 100% ownership of the property to a buyer if your sister isn't a part of the transaction......but the partition suit can bring her in whether she likes it or not.