Q: Without my notice, my grandfather’s Culpeper VA home was sold by forced partition sale. Do I have any recourse?

Recently I received an email from a paralegal asking if I’d recieved a check. A PDF was attached with a partition sale documents showing my final proceeds to be about 1.5% of my perceived value of the land that had been in my family for decades; after expenses. About 2 years ago my 2 sisters has sold their 2/3 interest to a nextdoor neighbor who at the time said he only wanted to have a larger yard. It was an amount per acre less than half of what we’d attempted to sell for to a developer in ‘06 who went defunct before the sale was final. The land has a considerable road frontage on what has become a major suburban arterial route over time. Do I have any recourse to reverse the sale or at least recover monetary and emotional damage? I’m in Maringá Paraná Brazil with dual residency between here and Gaithersburg MD. I was asked why I ignored the issue for so long, I only became aware of it from the recent paralegal’s email. Additionally, would it be best to seek counsel in Richmond?

1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: It is unlikely that you can reverse the process at this late stage, and it will be useful to understand why you ignored the issue so long. But, in many circumstances, Virginia law in partition rulings is not final for two years after the final order. That might help, but you need to start immediately with a consult and a title search and court records search. In my view, any lawyer who would do that on these facts without an hourly retainer is not qualified for the job, so expect a bill before the lawyer has a clue about whether there is a winning response. Good luck to you.

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