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Real Estate partition

Kingston, NY |

My sister,my brother and inherited a house. my sister and I are on the deed,my brother has a life estate which he chose that route because he is running from bill collectors all his life and didn't want a lien on the property. We all want to sell but brother is being difficult and want all his renovation costs back. Will courts partition a house with a life estate on it?

Attorney Answers 2


Life estates don't shield people from creditors. Any judgments against brother that's running from bills will have to be paid from proceeds of any sale or partition action, so you're in a bad spot. And, if he wants his costs back, how are you supposed to do that without his bill collectors attacking his money? Cash under the table?

Sit with a local attorney to outline your rights & potential remedies.

I may be guessing or not licensed in your state. No atty/client relationship exists.

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You can sell but it will be subject to the life estate so no one will likely buy.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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