What do we need to do if we want to sell a house which is in a life estate? 16 Answers as of November 04, 2013

My sister put my mother’s house in a life estate. With it being in my mothers and seven siblings names. However, it has been almost 2 years since mothers passing, and the house is still in limbo. The two that are in charge of this and one other refuse to sign off on title unless they get at least $5,000.00 extra a piece. Is there anything the rest of us can do about our mother? This as no one is paying the taxes either? What can we do to see that it is sold and split evenly seven ways?

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Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
You will have to go to court to get the sale completed.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 11/4/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
If all of the estate holders do not agree to sell, you will need a court order authorizing the sale.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/19/2013
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
Who had the life estate? Your mother? If so, are the seven siblings the remainder (the persons who inherit after the life estate ends. If the life estate was in your mother's name, it ended when your mother passed away. The seven siblings now own the home. To sell the property all would have to sign off on the sale. However, if the taxes are not being paid, the property appraiser in the County where the property is situated, will soon issue a tax deed that will be sold to the highest bidder and the person that purchases the deed will be the owner of the property, and all of this will be a moot point.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 9/18/2013
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
Obtain yourself probate litigation attorney to file a petition to partition the property to sell and divide the proceeds and come to an agreement about dissolving the life estates.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/17/2013
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
Good luck. Probate would have been easier! And less expensive! If there is no agreement a quiet title action would need to be filed. 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: 9/17/2013
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    Talk to an attorney about filing a partition lawsuit which can force the sale of the house. In Missouri, the co-owner bringing the lawsuit has the right to attorney fees so see an attorney to be the first one to file.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    You can file a petition asking the court to order a sale of the property and for an accounting from the people that have been managing the property.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    Law Office of Nathan Wagner
    Law Office of Nathan Wagner | Nathan J. Wagner
    File a partition lawsuit. It would be a very good idea to get a local attorney who practices real estate law or civil litigation to help you. Please be aware that the judge could still give some of your sisters more than the others, to make up for money those sisters have spent to improve or maintain the house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Hire an attorney and file for probate and a partition action if necessary. Don't wait and don't try to do this on your own. If attorney fees and costs are an issue, I am sure you can find an attorney who will work with you on them, but this has gone on for too long to wait any longer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    File a petition in probate court or any other court with jurisdiction and ask the judge to order the house to be sold, that all proerty and estate taxes be paid, and that the remainder be split equally between the siblings.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    I would file an action for partition. The court will order a sale.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    See an attorney, if a majority of the owners want to sell and divide the money equally, the court should order it if this is not done by the people in charge.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    You say it was placed in a "life estate" but then say title is held in your mothers and seven siblings names. Are all eight of you listed on the title with your mother holding a life estate? Or, was title transferred to a trust and held for your mother's benefit for life? I ask this because the solution will depend on the answer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    Sanford M. Martin, P.A. | Sanford M. Martin
    If you and your siblings cannot agree to a settlement, the only alternative is probate court represented by a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Without seeing the deed in question, it is impossible to say. You should have a lawyer review this. There may not be a way to accomplish what you wish, short of agreement by your sister.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/17/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    The house is no longer in a life estate since your mother has passed. The two asking for a extra $5,000 are no do anything extra. You can go to mediation and try to get the matter resolved. The fact you are not paying taxes may resolve the issue for you since the county can seize it and sell it for back taxes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/17/2013
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