What Does Undivided Real Estate Mean?

Undivided Real Estate

Undivided real estate is the term used when two or more individuals have an interest in a property under the same title. The undivided interest pertains to the entire property, whereas each of the individuals shares equal rights to the property. As such, each individual has the legal right to use or possess the property. However, this does not mean one of the holders of the property cannot sell, obtain a mortgage, or convey any portion of the property without the permission of all joint tenants.

What Happens to a Jointly Owned Property in Virginia if One of the Owners Dies?

In Virginia, it is recommended that if two people own property together, they establish a “right of survivorship” between the two of them. This legal protection ensures that when one holder of the property dies, the surviving holder will automatically obtain legal ownership. A right of survivorship also eliminates the need for probate in order to transfer the property. As a matter of legal obligation, the surviving owner is required to show proof that they are the sole owner of the property.

Joint tenancy follows the same guidelines as the right of survivorship and works well for both married and unmarried couples. Tenancy by the entirety, on the other hand, is similar to joint tenancy. However, it is valid when a couple is legally married to one another.

Can I Sell My Portion of Undivided Property?

There are situations in which individuals find themselves as joint owners of a property, often through inheritance, and they are not able to come to a resolution as to how the land should be managed. If the holders cannot come to a reasonable decision, then the best option may be to file a partition suit in the circuit court where the property is located.

A “partition in kind” works best with large plots of land. The land can be divided into separate plots, and the joint owners then each enjoy ownership of the newly created plots. This type of agreement is not recommended for a property that already includes a home.

For smaller plots of land, a partition by the sale would likely be more suitable. In a situation such as this, each of the owners of the property would be given the opportunity to buy out the other owner’s shares of the property and thereby maintain ownership. If, for some reason, the owners are not financially able to purchase the other shares or do not wish to do so, the circuit court will then appoint a commissioner to oversee the sale of the property.

How Can A Lawyer Help Me with Undivided Interest in Real Estate?

If you are a joint owner of a property and you would like to know how to protect both yourself and your family in relation to real estate with undivided interest, you need to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. Our law firm can answer your questions and help you understand your legal rights as well as possible options that fit your needs and individual circumstances. Contact us and schedule a free consultation. We look forward to serving you.

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