My father's will stated that I have the right to live in the house and use the barns until I die. There are 60 acres total, and in the will it also stated that the 4 siblings have a right to share the land equally. They have not shared equally. They do what they want and don't ask me a thing. I pay ALL of the land taxes, insurance, and utilities, and have upgraded the home. If this law is actually effective in TN, then legally, I can do what I want on the 60 acres, correct? They have offered the land to sell to people, but will not sell it to me. I don't want it divided up, I want to farm it just as my Dad did.
Moving this question to the estate planning forum.
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Typically, land that passes by inheritance is passed to the beneficiaries as tenants in common. At common law, a co-tenant is entitled to use and enjoy the land in an unfettered manner. Therefore, you have the right to use and enjoy the entire property and your siblings are not permitted to exclude you. Furthermore, there are required to share in the expenses if they are using the real property in an equal manner as yourself. Generally, and provided there is no other agreement among the siblings and yourself regarding payment of these expenses, you are not required to bear the entire costs of maintenance, repair, and taxes.
The siblings, however, are not required to sell the land to you. They have certain remedies if they wish to sell the real property; however, you may always buy their share on the open market if the siblings request a partition of the land.
Both of the other attys have given good answers. If a will states something that is how it will be.
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The way you stated your problem sounds like a life estate with a remainder. As the other attorneys pointed out, how this is set out in the will is the determinative factor. If you have a life estate, this will fundamentally change the remedies at law, particularly with the ability to sell without your permission ANY part of the farm.
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