Buying Partial Shares of Property

3 Replies

My two sisters and I have to sell our interest in three apartments in another country. We and eight other relatives have inherited the apartments, and we three sisters together have a 1/4 ownership interest. There is an attorney who has been hired to liquidate and distribute the part of the estate that does not include real property, and the eight other heirs have also hired that attorney to sell their 3/4 interest in the apartments at any price of the attorney's choosing. My sisters and I, however, have declined to hire the attorney to sell our interest in the apartments, preferring instead to make our own decision about an appropriate selling price. The decision to sell must be unanimous, so even though we hold only a 1/4 interest, we have veto power over a sale, and we want it this way because we think that the attorney will be too willing to sell the apartments cheap, particularly if the attorney has "friends" who want to buy it. Does anyone see any pitfalls in our making this decision? If so, please let me know!

Oh, none at all.

Except maybe the monetizing part.

If you three women owned a horse together, which part would you want: the part you ride, the part you feed, or the part you clean up after? 

Having been involved with a number of domestic cases (without peculiar foreign laws) I'm betting there's a high chance that you'll be feeding this horse and cleaning up the inevitable byproduct. I doubt if you'll get to do much riding, based on your description. 

So there are 11 people dividing this money?  How much are the 3 apartments worth?  If the lawyer does ot sell it how do you plan to arrange to sell it? How are you inbestigating the value and have you spoken to agents in that town?

Do you have any feet on th ground in this other country?  What has the lawyer told you about the sale?

Barbara, thank you for your questions. The other eight heirs have signed a power of attorney giving the lawyer the responsibility of negotiating the sale on their behalf. The lawyer has full power to accept or reject any offer. The other eight heirs are motivated to sell, and if someone brings the lawyer an offer that is acceptable to the lawyer, the lawyer will have to present the offer to all eleven heirs, it would seem, since the decision to accept an offer has to be unanimous. My sisters and I would then have the final say on whether the price is acceptable, since -- unlike the other eight heirs -- we have not signed a power of attorney giving the lawyer the right to accept or reject an offer on our behalf. The situation looks good to my sisters and me, but we're wondering whether someone else can spot any pitfalls that we haven't thought of. We're talking strictly about legal and practical issues, by the way, not sentimental issues. We hardly know the relatives. And we're pretty sure we know how to determine a good price for the apartments.

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