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My siblings and I inherited land from late mom. Since 2003 I'm the only one paying the property taxes. Can I assume ownership?

Chicago, IL |

The land is in Mississippi, where none of us reside.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. No you cannot take away your siblings' ownership share of land simply by paying the property taxes. You will have to buy their ownership percentage of the land.


  2. I agree with Attorney Brinkmeier. However, if you do not want to continue making payments without any contributions from your siblings, you may want to consider bringing a suit for partition. That would force the sale of the property and you may be compensated for your sole support of the property. You can either get your pro-rata share of the sale proceeds or seek to purchase your siblings' interest.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.


  3. I agree with the other attorneys. However, there might be another option to consider.

    In order to avoid a lawsuit, I would recommend that you sit down with all of your siblings and an attorney and try to set up a partnership or limited liability company and then place the inherited land in the entity you establish. In the process of setting up the partnership or limited liability company, all of you can sort through the questions of:

    Who pays which bills?
    Who gets to use the property?
    When can the property be leased out or sold?
    If someone cannot pay their share of expenses, what happens?

    There are many other questions to be answered. However, after the agreements are signed, you and your siblings will have a roadmap which spells out everyone's rights and responsibilities to the property. These types of agreements can help to promote family harmony. In addition they are generally less expensive than litigation.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

    Circular 230 Disclosure: Pursuant to recently-enacted U.S. Treasury Department Regulations, I am now required to advise you that, unless otherwise expressly indicated, any federal tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended or written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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