Dividing a single piece of real estate among several heirs

It can be quite a privilege and a burden to be chosen from among siblings to be the executor of an estate, especially when the assets left to divide are mostly or entirely real estate. In an ideal scenario, all the surviving siblings would agree without much controversy over how to go about dividing the inherited property. Having a good handle on some common ways to resolve this situation ahead of time may save you from years of familial conflict. As the executor of the estate, coming prepared to the discussion of property division is always a wise course of action.

When it comes to dividing a single piece of property, there are three common solutions that will solve almost all of the standard conflicts that arise from trying to split something as unwieldy as a single piece of property. By far, the simplest arrangement is to sell the piece of property and split the proceeds from the sale evenly among the heirs. This is almost always the fairest path to take, but it may meet with some resistance if the heirs wish to keep the home in the family.

If one of the heirs wishes to retain ownership of the home, then there are two standard courses of action. Firstly, suggest that the individual who wishes to keep the home make a fair buyout offer to the other heirs to equitably compensate them for their share of the property. If cash reserves to accomplish this plan are not available, then it is possible to distribute other property (either included in the inheritance or belonging to the heir who wishes to retain the home) so that each heir is equitably compensated.

Finding a way to be fair in the division of assets that are not easily divisible can be a frustrating proposition, and one that is never worth risking a family relationship over. The guidance of an experienced estate attorney can help remove the emotion from these kinds of decisions and ensure that all parties are treated equitably, keeping the family at the heart of the matter.


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