Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Massachusetts

My sister and I have inherited my parents home. I want to sell, She does not. She has decided to move in despite my request that she stay out. Since the house belong to us equally, do I have any legal ground to have her removed?

Asked on 11/04/15, 8:49 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Alan Fanger Alan S. Fanger, Esq.

You can file a petition to partition the property. The petition can be filed in either Land Court or Probate Court and would result in someone known as a commissioner being appointed to sell the property. The commissioner would decide if your sister can stay at the property. When the property is sold there would be an adjustment of the sales proceeds in your favor to reflect the period that she was living there.

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Answered on 11/04/15, 9:08 am
Christopher Vaughn-Martel Charles River Law Partners, LLC

Thank you for your question.

This is a very common situation. Either of you has the right to go to court and file a legal action called a petition for partition. I recommend attempting to negotiate - with the assistance of counsel - a buyout or sale. If that will not work, a partition forces the parties to sell the property and equitably allocate the sale proceeds. A partition can (and often does) result in a buyout or voluntary sale, when the recalcitrant party realizes they don't have a choice. Our office has successfully negotiated buyouts and filed partition actions throughout Massachusetts.

I invite you to contact our office if you would like to discuss your options.

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Answered on 11/04/15, 10:52 am

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