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  1. #1
    jstsmhlpls is offline Junior Member
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    How to sell a family farm when not evryone wants to sell

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana.
    When my parents died they left an estate of real estate consisiting of a home and farm ground with an appraised value of $400,000. There are 4 heirs named in the will to share equally. We are getting ready to close the probate and are trying to decide what to do with the property. 2 heirs live close and want to keep it as a family farm and have been using the property as a weekend retreat and for recreation. No one has a problem with that so far. The 2 heirs that don't live near the farm and would get very little use from it want to sell their interest. The 2 heirs that want to keep it all together say that they cannot afford to buy the other 2 out. All have agreed that the $400,000 is a correct value and 3 of the 4 do not want someone out side the family to own the property.
    1. Should we close the probate and then approache the problem as 4 equal owners or get this settled before we close?

    2. In Indiana, can a court make heirs sell or split up property if they cannot come to an agreement? This property could be split up into equal shares.
  2. #2
    latigo is offline Senior Member
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    [QUOTE=jstsmhlpls;2593736]What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana.

    Should we close the probate and then approach the problem as 4 equal owners or get this settled before we close?
    There is no question in my mind as what should be done. The PR should sell the land out of probate and distribute the proceeds upon closing.

    The heirs are already at odds and squabbling over the spoils and they don’t even have title. If the farm land is distributed in kind you’ll end up with a cotenancy situation where it will require the written consent of all the cotenants to sell.

    In Indiana, can a court make heirs sell or split up property if they cannot come to an agreement? This property could be split up into equal shares.
    Actually neither a judge nor anyone else can make “heirs split up property” that they hold title in undivided ownership. But upon a petition for partition the court could either order that the property be sold at a public auction --

    OR if the property lends itself to an equitable physical division without prejudicing any of the cotenants, order partition in kind by splitting into four separate parcels.

    There is also the option of the heirs entering into an agreement in lieu of the will whereby the land is distributed in separate parcels. But it doesn't sound as if the heir that is using it for his or private vacation spot will be very cooperative. Especially when he/she learns that if the land is set over in cotenancy each cotenant has equal rights of possession.

    And this question needs to be asked!

    Why aren’t you all getting counsel on this issue from the attorney representing the personal representative for the estate?!
  3. #3
    jstsmhlpls is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for your help. Yesterday was the first meeting where everyone officially let everyone else know thier opinion. Your answer was exactlly what I needed to know and we will contact the probate Attorney for futher advice. Thank you very much.

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