Q: How do we establish property percentage of ownership?
My siblings and I were given a property to act as our inheritance. The property has no mortgage and we are all listed as owners on the deed. We did not establish an LLC nor have we determined a percentage of ownership - I think it was assumed to be 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. However, my siblings live nowhere close and haven't done anything to establish a vested ownership in the property. Am I am to argue a larger percentage of ownership?
A: Based upon your description you and your siblings have an equal ownerhip percentage. For that to change would require the consent of your siblings and depending on what the usage of the property, it may be appropriate to consider forming an LLC. It would be best to consult with an attorney whose practice is concentrated in real estate law.
A: Generally speaking, in Illinois, unless there is language to the contrary in the Will, the interests in the property are presumed to have been distributed equally (or "per stirpes") to the heirs.
However, if you have contributed a disproportionate amount to maintain the property, pay RE taxes, etc, you may want to consider filing a "partition" action to have a Court determine a fair and equitable distribution of any interest in the property or any proceeds from a sale. However, this could become costly in fees and court costs and it is always better to try to work out an amicable arrangement with your family members.
You should consult with a knowledgeable attorney practicing real estate and/or wills & estates to review the Will and for more specific legal advice.
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