When Partition Actions And Probate Are Connected: How To Protect Your Rights If Your Real Estate Inheritance Is At Risk

Oct 26, 2023 | Probate

Are you mourning the death of a loved one while trying to sort out their affairs and decide what is going to happen to their house or properties? Sometimes, especially when multiple heirs stand to inherit, and when real estate is involved, it can lead to disagreements about what’s fair, who should get what, and what should happen to real estate left behind.

If you’re seeking legal guidance and assistance with a probate case (distributing a deceased person’s assets) that involves a partition action (dividing real estate among parties), The Law Offices of Patel & Cardenas can help you with both issues! 

Understanding partition actions and probate can be confusing, and it can be even more confusing when you find yourself in the middle of a heated situation that involves both. Knowledge is power! Here are a few things you should know about these legal matters to help you confidently navigate the journey ahead!

First – What Is A Partition Action?

If two co-owners of a piece of real estate property cannot agree on what to do with that property and become embattled in a dispute, a partition action lawsuit can provide a viable solution. By initiating this legal action, co-owners are given the opportunity to either divide the property among themselves or sell it and distribute the profits accordingly. 

The court plays a crucial role in determining how to handle a partition case based on its unique circumstances. In some situations, the court may require physical separation of the property, allowing each party to possess their designated portion independently. On the other hand, if dividing the property proves impractical or undesirable for any of the parties involved, the court might order its sale and subsequent division of proceeds among co-owners.

It is important to understand that pursuing a partition case can be complex and demanding. It involves legal expenses and multiple court proceedings, which is why would-be litigators must have a thorough understanding of both the legal requirements and potential consequences before initiating such legal action.

Now, What Is Probate?

The process of probate involves the division of a deceased individual’s belongings, resolution of outstanding debts, and transfer of property to the rightful beneficiaries or heirs. In cases where disputes arise or challenges are made regarding the validity of a will, this court-supervised procedure can become quite complex.

During probate, the court carefully examines the contents of the decedent’s will and appoints an executor or personal representative to oversee the distribution of assets in accordance with either the terms outlined in the will itself or relevant legal regulations. If no valid will exists, the court then divides assets based on intestacy laws.

Administering an estate through probate can be a time-consuming process, often spanning several months or even years, and can lead to additional expenses and fees.

When Do Partition Actions And Probate Intersect, And How Can A Lawyer Help?

The most common scenario we encounter where both partition actions and probate affect a single case is where multiple heirs (usually siblings) inherit a home left to them in a will by their deceased loved one (usually a parent). One or more of the heirs may want to keep the home, for sentimental or financial reasons; one or more of the heirs may want to sell the home. If the heirs can’t agree, then the heirs who want to sell the home need to file a partition action in order to divide the property. 

Our lawyers at The Law Offices of Patel & Cardeas can assist with every aspect of one of these cases. We can…

  • Help the heirs who want to sell move into litigation (file a partition lawsuit)
  • Help the heirs who want to keep the house/property fight the partition
  • After the house has been sold (in either case), help with the closing of the property
  • Help with any transactional matters that involve legal paperwork 

Most law firms are either transactional, meaning they only handle straightforward probate and real estate-related cases, or litigation-oriented, meaning they only handle probate and real estate-related disputes. The advantage of working with our team is that if we represent you, we can take care of every detail in your case, from the paperwork to the courtroom, regardless of how much conflict is involved or how complicated your specific circumstances are! 

Common Challenges In Partition Actions And Probate

Partition actions and probate disputes can be complicated. Some common challenges include:

  1. Emotional and family dynamics: Death is already hard on families; if there is a disagreement over the allocation of property, this can lead to strong feelings and create tension in relationships. Navigating this sensitive situation involves finding a middle ground between personal emotions and legal considerations. It is essential to remain composed and seek advice from professionals in order to effectively handle these types of scenarios.
  2. Disagreements on property valuation: How much a real estate property is worth can often become a point of contention in cases involving property division and inheritance conflicts. In such situations, co-owners frequently hold divergent perspectives regarding the valuation, resulting in disputes and causing significant delays in reaching a resolution. Lawyers can help ensure that the real estate is accurately assessed.
  3. Challenges to the will: When a will is in question, disputes regarding its legitimacy can add complexity to the probate proceedings; if you and the other heirs disagree over the future of the property, the other heirs may attempt to contest the will in order to stall or sway the outcome in their favor. 

Navigating these challenges requires careful planning, effective communication, and professional guidance. By being aware of these potential obstacles, you can better prepare yourself and protect your rightful inheritance!

Tips For Navigating Partition Actions During Probate

Navigating both probate and partition actions can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

  • Educate yourself: Become familiar with relevant laws and procedures. Know about the process and your rights to make informed choices and safeguard your interests.
  • Gather documentation: Gather wills, property deeds, contracts, and other documents related to the dispute. Having these records organized and accessible helps support your claims and defend your assets.
  • Be open to negotiation. To settle the argument more amiably and affordably, try mediation or arbitration. These strategies may improve communication and resolve conflicts.
  • Communicate clearly: Open and transparent communication with all parties is essential. Communicate your needs, wants,and expectations, and listen to others. Effective communication may reduce misconceptions and speed up resolution.
  • Consider the long-term implications: While making choices about your deceased loved one’s legacy and your inheritance, consider how your decisions may affect family ties and your financial stability.
  • Seek professional advice: Complex legal issues require an intimate knowledge of the law; hire a team of seasoned partition action and probate attorneys to provide skilled counsel, help you navigate the legal process, and represent your interests.

By following these tips, you can better work towards a fair resolution!

Contact The Law Offices Of Patel & Cardenas For Help With Partition Actions And Probate

At the Law Offices of Patel & Cardenas, we get that losing someone you love is hard enough without having to fight for your way with the property they left you. Our compassionate lawyers will provide you with sound guidance on the most suitable course of action for your specific situation and stand up for your rights should litigation become necessary. Moreover, we can aid in drafting essential legal documents, engaging in negotiations, and addressing any other legal issues that may arise during the partition action or probate process. Don’t allow your partition action to turn into a long, costly, and complicated legal battle. Contact us today for a free consultation and let our experienced attorneys help you pursue an equitable solution. 

The Law Offices of Patel & Cardenas

Why Choose Us?

Free Initial Consultations

Multilingual Attorneys

Thousands of Clients Served

Focus On Quality Client Care

Call us

(973) 542-9407