One of the most common causes of litigation surrounding the settlement of an estate is family conflict, and one of the most frequent sources of conflict is the sale of the family home. Selling the family home can be a difficult and emotional process, but when several family members—for example, all of the siblings—are joint heirs, it is usually the logical solution to dividing the inheritance equally. When one heir refuses to cooperate, unfortunately, it may be necessary to litigate the case.
We Handle These Matters With the Utmost Sensitivity
A typical case we see is where one of the heirs is occupying the home and refusing to agree to a sale. Very often, this family member is living in the house for free and in no hurry to move out. While she does have the option to buy out the other heirs and become the sole owner of the home, she may drag her feet in order to avoid coming up with the money. As difficult as it may be to file suit against a sibling, it may be the only way to resolve the situation.
The legal action required is known as a partition action. In a partition action, we ask the court to order that the property be sold. Once an order of sale is obtained from the court, it will be sold by public auction after all parties are notified. The sibling living in the house will have the option of buying out the co-owners at auction, but the house is usually sold to a third party. A court-appointed notary will divide up the proceeds of the sale and distribute them to the co-owners. If the problematic family member is still in the house at this point, she will be evicted. Because of the number of legal steps involved, this process can take several months in New Orleans.
Our Litigators Are Here to Help Resolve Your Family Conflict
The estate team at Scott | Vicknair Law, Estate & Probate Division understands how difficult it can be to engage in a legal battle with a sibling or other family member, but we have litigated hundreds of similar cases in New Orleans and the surrounding parishes, and we will make the process as easy as possible. Let our experience work for you to resolve an estate issue in court. Contact us in our New Orleans office to get started today.