Knoxville, TN asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee

Q: How long on average will a partition sale take, dealing with an unwilling family member? What steps do we need to take?

Property is jointly owned by my Mom and sister. Mom has Alzheimer's and needs funds for continued dementia care. She is not competent, and I have her POA. Property has no mortgage and was purchased with mostly Mom's money, but now my sister is claiming it is all hers. I have offered to buy her out or for her to buy Mom out but she won't budge. At this point, I don't see any option other than to file a partition suit. The property is 6 acres with a mobile home, so it's not worth much, but even a little could go a long way towards helping Mom. She is in late stage illness so may not live more than a year or so.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: Your initial problem is your Mother's illness. Her incompetency may require a Conservatorship, or possibly a Guardianship, both difficult and expensive. I doubt the Chancellor will order the sale with you as an attorney in fact, and title would be patently suspect. If she is not incompetent, then an attorney might be able to file the Petition with her as Petitioner, not you. If no debt, then it might be concluded in about a year with a good lawyer pushing it through hard.

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