Question: Our family real estate on Lake Michigan in Van Buren County, Michigan is owned by four family groups as part of inheritance. Some owners want to sell but others are opposed to selling. What is the law if agreement is not reached?
Answer: This is a fairly common occurrence. Property has been in the family for some time, the first generation owner passes away and leaves the property to next, with the result that four different families have an interest in the property. If all families do not want to remain in the property, generally we encourage an appraisal of the property and owners who want to remain buy out those who want to sell. The sale price is often paid over time, secured by a mortgage. Interest is so low right now I would encourage an immediate payoff if possible. The following is a fairly rare occurrence, if the four owners could not agree on any such sale; the party who wants out of the ownership arrangement could file a court action seeking partition. This would be a request to the court to sell the property and divide the proceeds. This of course would have family implications. We recommend that you see an attorney to assist your family.
Attorney: Mark Miller