Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers the following question: How Do I Go About Getting My Siblings, With Whom I Own a Land, to Buy Me Out?
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Today's question comes from Richland Center, Wisconsin, and the reader asked the following:
“I own land with my three siblings. I want out of this family. How do I go about getting them to buy me out?”
So let me first Say by your question it strikes me one that I hear quite a bit and that is that owning land with family is often not the best idea.
And the reader goes on to say:
“All four names are on the deed, there's nothing written that we can't walk away. My brother is head of the estate. I'm getting screwed in so many ways. I just want out but I feel I should get something.”
So again, I hear your frustration, your question and I sympathize with you and I'm sorry to hear you being treated unfairly by your siblings. You mentioned your brother is the head of the estate, if he is the personal representative appointed under the will, then he has a fiduciary duty to carry out the wishes of the deceased according to their wishes as expressed in their will.
if the probate’s been closed, you could possibly bring your concerns to the probate court. I mean if it's still open. If it's been closed and you are a current co-owner in the deed, then you would need to file a petition for a partition action. A judge can order that the land be sold and the proceeds divided amongst you and your siblings or it could possibly order your co-owners to buy you out if they want to remain owning the land but the ultimate remedy when co-owners cannot agree is the judge can say I'm going to sell the property and distribute the proceeds.
So again, if the probate is still open, I would bring these concerns to probate court before they close the case, but if not, you could consider this partition action and to do that, I recommend you obtain your own attorney who can represent you in this action.
Again, sorry to hear you're going through this and best of luck to you in the future.
Great question and thank you for asking.
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