When property is owned by multiple persons or entities, all those with an ownership interest must join in the sale of the property in order to convey clear title to the purchaser. The most common scenario with multiple persons in title is property owned by spouses. Both spouses must sign the deed to transfer the property.
Another scenario that is not uncommon is property that has been inherited by the heirs of the record title owner. All devises under the Will, or if the deceased owner had no Will, all heirs at law, must execute the deed to transfer clear title to the property. If one or more persons is unable to cooperate, or refuses to do so, the sale cannot move forward unless a lawsuit is filed to force the sale of the property. A lawsuit to force the sale of property when not all parties are in agreement is called a Partition.
In a suit for Partition, the Court is asked to first determine if the property is able to be divided among the heirs. For properties that are large, division of the property into smaller pieces may be possible. For residential properties, the Court will typically decide that the property is not a candidate for division and order that the property as a whole be sold and the proceeds split among the heirs. The court will appoint an appraiser to determine the value of the property and a receiver to handle the sale of the property. The costs associated with both the appraiser and receiver will be deducted from the sale proceeds before the proceeds are distributed to the heirs.
If you would like to use a knowledgeable title company conveniently located in the Heights, please give us a call.
Fidelity National Title, 1512 Heights Blvd., Houston, TX 77008 (713) 529-8800.