Experienced, Compassionate and Effective Advocacy

Are you fighting with your siblings about a jointly held property?

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2022 | Partition Actions

Ideally, a family will not run into any serious disputes after a loved one passes away, but the reality is that this happens quite often. Some estate disputes can be between siblings who were the joint beneficiaries of the deceased.

Family infighting is emotionally charged and can lead to lifelong rifts. Why might disputes occur? Here are some potential reasons that these disputes often arise.

There is no will

It’s very problematic if there is no will, as it leads to a lot of uncertainty about what should happen with the family assets and real estate. The siblings must make key decisions together, and they may struggle to do so. They may disagree on what their parents would have wanted, for instance, or they may be only looking out for themselves and their children’s inheritance rights.

A surprising outcome

It’s best for parents to talk to their children about the potential outcome of the estate plan in advance. This ensures that nothing is a surprise. Unfortunately, many families feel this subject is taboo or merely uncomfortable, so they don’t talk about what will happen after a loved one passes. If one child assumed they were going to get a certain asset and then is surprised to find out that it went to someone else, that can lead to sibling rivalry.

Unequal bequests

Parents certainly have the right to leave different bequests to their kids. Grown siblings may assume that the estate assets would be equally split. However, that doesn’t always happen, and they will feel frustrated and insulted if it’s not.

Joint ownership

Frequently, well-meaning parents bequeath their real property jointly to their kids. For some families, shared ownership of a vacation home may work out wonderfully. But, if one sibling is strapped for cash and wants to sell the property, or another wants to buy out the others and keep the property for themselves, a dispute can quickly arise.

If you find yourself in a disagreement about what to do with property you own jointly with someone else, a partition action may be a viable solution in Virginia. This type of legal action may help you disentangle yourself from a jointly inherited property.