Mar 16, 2011

Inheriting with a sibling

  siblings.jpgDear Liza-my boyfriend and his sister inherited a small parcel of raw land in the Hamptons, NY.  His sister seems to think she will get a princely sum for the parcel and refuses to consider a reasonable offer, even ignoring what the local real estate agents say it is worth.  My boyfriend wants to sell the property but his sister is adament about waiting and getting an unrealistic price.  Does my boyfriend have a choice--does he have to go along with his sister or does he have any rights to say No, sell it for what the real estate agents assess it? Oh, siblings can be so much fun! So, here's the thing--I don't know how your boyfriend and his sister own that property together. There are two likely ways that they could own it: tenants in common or as joint tenants. Both mean that each owns 1/2 of the property. Your boyfriend should consult with a local real estate lawyer to see what his rights are with respect to his half. It's probably possible he could force a sale with respect to his half if he really wants to. At the very least, that would get his sister's attention, if not cooperation.