When a loved one passes away, they may leave behind assets, including property. If this property is bequeathed to multiple beneficiaries, each beneficiary receives a share or percentage of the property. This often raises the question: Can I sell my share of inherited property? This article aims to provide clarity on the topic and guide beneficiaries through their rights and the possible steps they can take.
Understanding Your Rights as a Co-Owner
Co-ownership and Its Implications
When multiple beneficiaries inherit a property, they become co-owners. As a co-owner, you hold rights to your portion of the property. This doesn’t mean you can claim a specific room or section, but you do have a say in major decisions regarding the property, including whether to sell or not.
The Right to Dispose of Your Share
Yes, you have the right to sell your share of inherited property. However, this can be complex. The ideal scenario is when all co-owners agree on a decision. If one beneficiary wants to sell their share but the others don’t, it might lead to disputes. In some cases, a co-owner can push for a partition action in court, which can force the sale of the property.
Steps to Selling Your Inherited Property Share
Open Communication with Co-owners
Before making any moves, it’s essential to communicate your intentions to the other co-owners. Keeping everyone informed can prevent misunderstandings and disputes. Discuss your reasons for wanting to sell, and see if there’s a mutual agreement or if the other owners might consider buying out your share.
Get a Property Appraisal
Knowing the value of the property will help in determining the worth of your share. Hiring a professional appraiser will ensure that you get an accurate market value. Once you have this information, you can negotiate better with potential buyers or other co-owners.
Consult with a Real Estate Attorney
Selling a share of inherited property isn’t as straightforward as selling property you wholly own. There are legal implications to consider. Consulting with a real estate attorney can help you understand your rights, the process, and how to navigate potential challenges.
Consider Mediation for Disputes
If there’s disagreement among co-owners, instead of immediately jumping to legal actions like a partition lawsuit, consider mediation. A neutral third party can help all parties come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
Alternatives to Selling Your Share
If selling your share becomes complicated, or you change your mind, there are other options to consider:
Renting Out the Property
If all co-owners agree, the property can be rented out. The income generated can then be divided based on ownership percentages.
Buyout by Other Co-owners
Instead of selling your share to an external party, you can negotiate a buyout price with one or more of the co-owners.
Taking a Loan Using Your Share as Collateral
If you need funds but don’t want to sell your share, some financial institutions may allow you to take a loan using your share of the property as collateral.
Inheriting property with others can be a blessing, but it also comes with its set of challenges. The key is to understand your rights and make informed decisions. Whether you decide to sell your share of inherited property or explore other avenues, always ensure transparent communication with all parties involved. If you have any questions or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help and provide any assistance you might need.