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Thread: Trust and land in California

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Question Trust and land in California

    When my great grandparents past away the house and land were split into
    3rds via a will. 1/3 to a son 1/3 to another son and 1/3 to us. The two sons want to sell the house and land and we do not. They just sold the land even though our 1/3 did not want to sell. Do we have any options or rights?

  2. #2
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    How were they able to sell the land? Did they request a partition sale from the courts?

    You can't divide a house into thirds, but you can divide the land. Did they sell their portions of the land and leave you with your third?

    Basically, when multiple owners cannot agree on what to do with property, the law allows owners who wish to sell to petition the courts to order a partition sale. This usually ends up costing everyone involved with legal fees and may not result in getting the best price, so it's to everyone's advantage to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

    But, no, you cannot prevent the other owners from selling if they want to. What you can do, if you want the house to stay in the family, is offer to buy the other owners out of their shares.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

  3. #3
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    One of the sons that want to sell is the Trustee. They used a real estate agent to put the house up for sell. I tried to buy the two brothers out but i could not get a loan because the land was zoned Commercial Office. The bank wanted a letter stating that if something were to happen to the house that it could be rebuilt. I got the letter but it said i could only rebuild or repair the house at half the value of the house. They did not give us the option to keep our third. They just sold the whole thing. They also said in a verbal agreement that we had 45 days to move, but a couple days latter they sent a letter saying we had 30 days.

  4. #4
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    If the house was in a trust, then you'd need to review the trust documents to determine whether they gave the trustee the power to sell the property. It probably did. If the trust was established as a result of your great-grandparents' wills you may be able to find information about it in their probate files at the county courthouse.

    Unfortunately, when family members leave property to be shared by multiple individuals, it often leads to situations such as this. The trustee has a fiduciary obligation to all the beneficiaries of the trust, not just to the ones who want to keep the house. It sounds like he gave you the opportunity to try to get financing, but you were unable to. The other beneficiaries don't have to wait indefinitely until you can.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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