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Selling Your Half of a Jointly Owned Home

Real estate is one of a family’s most valuable assets. The family’s estate plan typically involves leaving the family home to the children or other close relatives. Inheriting the family home that the beneficiaries inherited a valuable assets. Regardless of how close the siblings or other family members who inherit it are, it’s not surprising that dispute develop over what to do with the family home. By the time they children inherit it they may be adults with their own families living in their own houses. The may live out of state. While one sibling may want to keep the home for investment and sentimental reasons, the other sibling may want to sell it and use the proceeds for another investment or for family necessities. When co-owners of an inherited home cannot agree on what to do with the property, contact an experienced Chicago estate lawyer who can help with selling your half of a jointly owned home.

Options for Selling Interest in a Jointly Owned Home

If a co-owner wishes to sever their ownership relationship from the other co-owner by selling their half of a jointly owned home, there are out of court options and in court options.

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Out-of-Court Options

The two out-of-court options include negotiating a buyout and selling to a nonowner.

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Negotiating a Buyout

If a co-owner wishes to sell and the other wishes to hold on to the house, a solution that may work for both parties is for the person who wishes to keep the property to buyout the person who wishes to sell. As a Chicago estate lawyer will explain, if the parties are able to negotiated a buyout, the result may be the least complicated, least contentious, and quickest way to resolve the dispute between the co-owners. For this option to work, the buyer must be willing and financially able to buyout the other co-owner.

The second out-of-court option is to sell to a nonowner. In other words, the person who wishes to sell would find another, third party buyer. This option is likely to only be viable if the nonowner buyer is someone known to the both co-owners such as another relative.

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In Court Option

If the parties are not able to resolve their dispute out-of-court, then either party can initiate a partition action as an option for severing the joint ownership of the property. With a partition action the court essentially dissolves the co-owner relationship between the parties by either dividing the property into distinct parcels or by selling the property.

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Dividing the Property

With a partition action, the petitioner can request that the court divide the property or sell the property. Dividing the property means that the court will physically divide the property into separate pieces. If two people co-own the property, the court will divide it into two pieces. If five people co-own it, the court will divide it into five separate pieces.

However, regardless of what the petitioner ask for in their complaint, the court will only divide the property if it is practical to do so. For example, farmland is typically easy to divide while a single family home is not. If you would like the property that you co-own to be divided, but you are not sure division is practical, contact an experienced estate attorney in Chicago to discuss your case.

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If in your petition you request that the property is sold or if the court determines that division is not an option, the court will determine the value of the property and sell it. The co-former co-owners will receive the proceeds of the sale. Fees associated with the partition action will be deducted from the proceeds.

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Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

When multiple family members inherit a house together, their differing opinions on what to do with the property can cause friction among the co-owners. Severing the co-owner relationship may be necessary. To understand your options for selling your half of a jointly owned home, contact an experienced estate attorney in Chicago at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We have extensive experience representing clients in complicated real estate and estate matters. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients throughout Chicago.

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