California Real Estate Partition Action

When a loved one passes, they often leave behind a home or vacation residence to their children or other heirs. While this may not be an issue for only children, it can present financial hardships and conflict when multiple heirs receive real property, like a house, condo, or vacation home. When only one person wants to sell the property and the other wants to maintain ownership, a partition action may be the only recourse for such a situation.

A partition action is when the court orders the sale of the property and division of profits, division of land, or appraises the price of the property so one owner may know how to buy the other out.

Inheriting assets as a group

When you and a sibling inherit a property in California, you each own half of the property or its value unless the will has set out specific provisions for allocating the property’s value. While some siblings may want to keep the property as a rental or for future inhabitation, frequently, one sibling wants to sell and the other prefers to retain. In such a case, one sibling can buy the other out in a lump sum, one sibling can pay the other monthly installments like a mortgage, or, in extreme cases, the siblings can file for partition, which allows a judge to arrange for the sale so you no longer have co-ownership.

To sell or not to sell?

If you and your siblings cannot reach a cordial agreement to keep or sell the house, involving the court may be your only option. California courts will not force the continuation of co-ownership if one of the parties does not want to remain in such an arrangement, and can force the sale of the property as a result. The downside to this is that the sibling who wishes to keep the property may be forced to leave if they cannot arrange to become a tenant of the new owner.

Talk to an experienced California trust and estate attorney

If you have inherited a property and have a dispute with your siblings, Daniel Leahy can help. Mr. Leahy is an experienced Northern California estate planning attorney. Serving Alameda County and the surrounding area, the Law Offices of Daniel Leahy in Oakland offers the answers and guidance you need. Call (510) 985-4151 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Daniel Leahy
About the Author: Daniel Leahy
Daniel J. Leahy specializes in trust and probate litigation. Dan’s practice includes counseling trustees administering trusts and in resolving disputes among beneficiaries and fiduciaries. Dan regularly appears in Bay Area probate courts and handles matters through trial.