IL estate lawyerAfter a parent or relative passes away and property is inherited by more than one person, it is very common for the co-owners to disagree about what to do with the property. One adult sibling may want to keep a beloved family home, while another may see the matter more practically and wish to sell. 

In cases like this, something known as a “partition action” may be brought before an Illinois court. If you are wondering whether a partition action may be helpful to you, speak with an Illinois real estate attorney with experience handling complex real estate matters. 

What is a Partition Action in Real Estate Law? 

A partition action is a court proceeding that allows two or more parties to divide one jointly owned property. The goal is for everybody to walk away with fair ownership of their share of the property. 

This might mean that parties retain ownership of the property but divide the property itself. For example, if the property is a piece of farmland that can be split fairly into multiple parcels, all parties may continue owning the property after it is divided and then can do whatever they wish with their share. 

A residential home, however, cannot be split in half. One possible solution to this problem is for the party who wants to keep the home to buy the portion of the party who wants to sell. Another solution could be for the court to order a “partition in kind,” which allows multiple parties to own part of a property. When considering how to divide property for partition in kind, a court will consider many factors, including but not limited to:

  • Whether the property can be divided in a practical way
  • Whether dividing the property would cause it to lose a large amount of its value compared to if it was owned as a whole
  • Whether one party has a sentimental attachment to the property, including ancestral ownership
  • Whether one party would be harmed by dividing the property
  • What the tax consequences of dividing the property would be

Can a Court Force Sibling to Sell Inherited Property? 

At other times, the parties will not be able to reach an agreement or will not be able to afford to buy out each other’s ownership. In this case, a court will typically decide to order the parties to sell the property. The parties will need to agree on the value of the property by getting the property appraised, and the court can order an independent appraiser to assess the value of the property so differing appraisals by each party are not a subject of disagreement. 

Meet with a Libertyville, IL Real Estate Lawyer

If you disagree with a family member or are unsure about how to manage co-owned real estate that you have inherited from your parents, our Lake County, IL real estate attorney can advise you. You may meet with us individually or as a family, and we will let you know if each party needs to seek their own representation. Call [[title]] today at [[phone]] to arrange a free consultation.

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