What are my options if I am one of the heir of my late parents but was left alone with the maintenance and taxes? 15 Answers as of September 26, 2013

My sisters and I share ownership of some real estate as the heirs of my late parents. However, the financial burden of maintenance and property taxes has been left on me alone. Financially I cannot continue and I am in a position that I need compensation for the last 5+ years of investment. What are my options?

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Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
You should be sharing the costs of these items with the other owners of the property. You should calculate all of these expenses and seek reimbursement from them. If they cannot reimburse you for these expenses then maybe you should sell the property and then recoup the amounts you have paid over the years from the proceeds before distributing the remaining proceeds to each sibling.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 9/26/2013
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
Unless you told you sibling that you expected to be paid back, you probably can not sue them. You can threaten and then in fact not pay the taxes or maintenance; you will be hit with a penalty but it might be worthwhile. Suggest to them that you all sell the property. If they disagree you with have to file a petition of partition, which could cost up to $15,000 if they oppose it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/26/2013
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
How is the property owned? Is it still in your parents' name? Was the will of the second parent to die submitted to probate? Or did they make you joint owners with right of survivorship? First, answer these questions. Then, if you and your sister are currently in title to the property, you should sue her for partition. This will result in the sale of the property and, hopefully, reimbursement to you for the expenses you have incurred.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 9/26/2013
Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C.
Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C. | Donald Scher
If you cannot get an agreement with your sisters regarding how the property is to be managed and financed until sold, then you can go to court and get a court order to sell the property or give you some other relief. I strongly suggest that you hire an attorney to help you negotiate with your sisters, that is the cheapest and best alternative to resolve the issues in this case.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 9/25/2013
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
You can file for a partition action to force your siblings to allow you to buy out their interests or to sell the property. You are entitled to reimbursement or a "credit" for the expenses that you have personally paid.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/25/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Have your sisters repay and then work out an agreement. You can also let the property go into foreclosure if they will not agree to assist in payments. They would object if you put the property up for sale.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Sell the property and make a claim in the escrow for recovery of your out of pocket expenses. However, if this was a trust, you may be compelled to file a petition into probate court for a partition action so as to compel your sisters to join you in the sale of the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    If each sibling is listed as legal owner of the property, each of you are responsible equally for the expense of maintaining the property. Unless one of the siblings lives on the property, then that sibling is solely responsible for the maintenance of the property. If the latter is the case, the property can be sold. From the proceeds, you can claim reimbursement for expenses advanced. Before you do anything though, I suggest you contact a local probate or real estate attorney to discuss this matter more fully. The advice you receive will be well worth the small cost in obtaining the advice.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Sue them for their share or petition the court to be allowed to share the property and take their share out of the proceeds.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    You are entitled to reimbursement of your payments. Tell your sisters that they must reimburse you and start contributing to all future payments or you will stop making them and the real estate will be lost. The solution might be to sell the real estate.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    You won't get compensation for the last 5 years. I suspect you lived in the property? Your option is to get your sister to agree to start paying or sell the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    It sounds like you may have resided in the property. If so, you may be probably solely responsible for those costs. Maintenance, repairs, taxes, may be a form of rent. It may be that you and your sister need to sell the property. Unless you both share the use of the property, or neither of lives there, if you had possession, in equity you are responsible for those costs. If you shared it equally then you would share those costs. Seek legal counsel who can review the specifics. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    I assume that you have already talked with your sisters about sharing the expenses and reimbursing you for your past payments and that is not a possibility. Your options range from finding ways to get some (more) income from the property to cover these expenses to selling the property and after deductions for the past expenses, splitting the income between you and your siblings.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    Present the other heirs with the option, if the property taxes are not paid they risk the county selling the property on the courthouse steps. In the meantime, keep all receipts on what you have spent, and you can sue them for the amounts that you have paid out. If the others continue to refuse to participate in the maintenance and upkeep, it may be a good idea to think about selling the property.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    You have the right to be compensated for your share of the expenses. If the real estate is rental property, and it appears that it is not, you have the right to get paid out of the monthly rents. You need to make demand on your sisters for the compensation. Please do it as soon as possible. If they will not pay and the only way to get paid is to sell the real estate, see an attorney about a partition lawsuit so the property can be sold to cover your expenses. Your sisters need to understand that they cannot depend on you any longer to pay the expenses without compensation. They cannot receive the benefits without equally being liable to the expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/25/2013
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