Upon death, a homeowner’s property is usually divided among the next of kin. Often, this consists of more than one person. The inheritors go through a probate process to determine how to share ownership of the property. The inheritors may also file a partition action if they cannot agree over what to do with the inherited home.
Each inheritor is a tenancy in common, giving each the right to occupy the property. However, what happens when one inheritor wants to keep the property but the other wishes to sell it? This is where a partition action comes in.
Under Washington law, an inheritor can file for a partition action if he no longer wishes to co-own the property. There are two categories of partition action:
1. Partition in Kind
Under this partition, the property is split up. A partition in kind usually only works when dealing with vacant land since you can’t physically divide a house.
2. Partition by Sale
The court orders the sale of the home; then the inheritors split the proceeds. The split may be even or not depending on the “tenancy level” of each party.
Speak with a probate lawyer to discuss your options if disagreement arises over inherited property.
We should also note that Washington is a title theory state under the state’s real estate law. If the original owner did not resolve debt payments for the home, then the mortgage company has title to the property. This gives the lending institution rights in a partition dispute.
In a perfect world, all involved parties would agree over the handling of the property. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. This is where our attorneys come in. Contact Curtis and Casteel Law Group if you plan to file a partition action due to a tenancy in common disagreement.
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