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Can I request a court order for cooperation in selling a home in an Estate sale? Or should I wait until the deed transfer?

Baltimore, MD |

My father owned a home (Tenants in Common) with his ex-wife. I've been trying to contact her regarding the sale of the home, but she has not responded to my phone calls or e-mails. I am the administrator for my father's Estate. I am waiting on the birth certificate from my brother, at which point I plan to transfer my father's interest in the home on the deed to my and my brother's names. The home is in the early stages of foreclosure.

Hence my question, should I petition the orphan's / probate court to request a court order of cooperation in selling the home (sell it as the administrator of my father's estate), or should I wait until I transfer the deed (once it's in my and my brother's names)?

Attorney Answers 2


If you have counsel, you should direct this question to them. You cannot normally compel a co-tenant in common to sell their interest, except in a Circuit Court action for Partition. This would follow the Estate transfer of the interest to you and your brother. And unless the mortgage is paid, you and your brother will take subject to the existing lien. Also, is there a divorce decree that incorporates an agreement about disposition of the house? Is she living there? Does she have a right to proceeds? So many questions for your lawyer to sort. So, before you engage in all this stuff, seek advice on the ultimate goal, and how it may be achieved.

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3 lawyers agree


You need to speak with a local probate attorney.

Your post does not indicate whether your father had a will and if so that it specifically devised his interest in the home to you and your brother.

The probate court likely has no authority to sell the home since you only own, at best, a 1/2 interest.

You will need to file a partition action.

I am not a MD attorney, laws vary from state to state, therefore you should always consult a local attorney.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

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