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Minneapolis Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer Blog

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

You Inherited a Cabin With Your Siblings. Do You Have to Keep It?

A Minnesota Real Estate Attorney Explains That You Are Not Stuck Co-Owning Property 

I have received several calls from siblings who have inherited a cabin property from parents who have died.

What happens if you and your siblings inherit property from your parents, and you don’t agree on what to do with it? (what, siblings disagree?) Can you force the sale of the property? Under Minnesota real estate law, in many instances, the answer is yes, through a specific court action.

Perhaps your parents died and left that farm or family cabin to you and your siblings in equal shares, through a will or not. In this case, each of you own the property as “tenants-in-common,” (also referred to as co-tenants) meaning you each own an equal share of the entire property. All of you now have the right to use all of the property and share in any profits - and liabilities (never forget the debts) - from it. But, do you all want it?

When the inevitable disagreements (you are siblings after all) arise about how to use the property – say one of you lives out of state and never uses it while your sister goes there every weekend with her family – what will happen to your relationship?

An even more likely scenario is that one of you is paying for all the expenses and upkeep but your brother doesn’t have the money to keep up with his share. Do you want out? If so, you may need to seek a partition action to force a sale.

You can file an action in court to ask the court to divide the property. If the court feels the property can’t be divided, it can force a sale. This may mean a sale to a third party or the siblings buy out your share.

I won't go into the legal specifics of how to do this here, but just know that your are not stuck co-owning property with another. Call a Minnesota Real Estate Lawyer today to discuss your options.


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