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Old 03-28-2008, 10:37 AM   #1
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Hi Everyone. You guys have a very interesting forum here. I'm looking forward to joining you. I found your board while searching for some answers.

My name is AnnMarie. I'm a 50 year old female from a small community in Alabama. 26 years ago my husband and I built on 2 acres of land on a 160 acre farm belonging to my mother in law. My children and I have always thought one day the land would be sub-divided between my husband and his siblings and we'd live here with them building here also. However, his siblings have decided they can make more money selling the land as a whole and refuse to sub-divide which will leave us and one other sibling having our land taken away and us having to live on our 2 acres among a future housing development. Granted the sell of the land would be a lot of money, but I'd rather have my land for my children to build on one day. Of course the ones wanting to sell have never wanted to live on this land and don't. Is there anything we can do? Are we just at their mercy and have to sell? I appreciate any feed back. Thanks,
AnnMarie
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:44 AM   #2
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Who holds the deed on the land at this point? Do they have a legal right to evict you based on documents you signed??
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:53 AM   #3
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The only real way is to buy them out if possible.......
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:53 AM   #4
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The land was deeded to all children to divide equally.

I guess another thing is the lack of consideration these siblings have for what we want. I believe my mother in law thought we would always keep this land in the family, that we would divide it; however, she did not specify in the will that it couldn't be sold.

As much as I hate to see any of it go, or it to be turned into another golf community, the fair thing to me would be divide it and those that want to sell can sell. I don't understand why one would be forced to sell their share.

Thanks
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:57 AM   #5
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Believe me if their was any way to buy them out I would. Don't have that kind of money and it is worth quite a bit. I keep hoping I win the lottery and can do just that, lol, but we got an offer this week and I am really upset that soon when I look out my back door I will be watching houses come up on top of me instead of seeing the beautiful green wheat field and small forest my children and I have lived with all these years. It's heart breaking to my children.
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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If the will is silent on how to divide.... then your husband is a partial owner of the full 160 acres...

HE DOES NOT HAVE TO SIGN A THING... so they can not see the land without his permission...

Because of this, HE can force them to divide out your share of the 160 acres and then they can sell the rest, but then you get no money on that sell as you do not own any of it....

NO FORCED SELL at all...

But you would know this if you went to see a lawyer which is what you need to do since it looks like it is going this way...
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:09 AM   #7
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I appreciate all the replies.

Yes, I need to see a lawyer. Unfortunately, I have been dealing with trying to settle my father's estate. It is only a home and few acres and my siblings and I have worked well together.

I did mention this briefly to our estate lawyer and he gave me the impression their wasn't much I could do. But then again, I think he's one of the siblings lawyer. It's really just recently become an issue. One that is causing turmoil among the "everyone".

My husband keeps telling me it's not fair to make his siblings keep their land and "What can I do". I agree they should be allowed to sell their part if they want to, so sub-divide. My husband tends to think of everyone else but me and the kids I'm afraid.

AnnMarie
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by AnnMarie View Post
26 years ago my husband and I built on 2 acres of land on a 160 acre farm belonging to my mother in law.
I guess this implies that you have a deed to your home and 2 acres, so there is no danger that you could be evicted. Your concern is the loss of the land around you, where you wanted your children to live.

If this is not true, you need to see RE attorney now. If ever there were a case of adverse possession, this would be one. So almost certainly you could get your deed to your own 2 acres and home.

The other question is more complicated- are you sure your kids want to live there too? Would your share of the land if it were to be subdivided be large enough to get builing permits for all your kids?

If not, it might be better to take the money from your part of the land sale, live in your own house and 2 acres, and see what you might want to do next.

If you really do want your share as land, and not as money, and the sibs are not cooperative, again, see a good attorney. There are likely a thousand ways you can create roadblocks for the sibs' plan such that they may be pleased to subdivide after all. Of course, this is likely to cost you and your husband the loss of good relations with his family. But maybe that is happening already with their uncompromising stance.

Nothing is clear once an attorney starts looking at it, so don't assume you are done for!

Ha
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One of the parties of land owned in common
Old 03-28-2008, 01:20 PM   #9
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One of the parties of land owned in common

can generally sue for partition though that would still mean they could sell the rest.
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:31 PM   #10
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HaHa, great user name and great "signature" and very true, lol.

I do have a clear deed to my 2 acres although that may be an issue as well. We built our house and actually lived here a couple years before it was ever surveyed and deeded. We did things backwards - built our house then married. The surveyor was suppose to place our house in the middle of the two acres but didn't do so. Anyway, in assuming (and I do know what happens when you assume as I am proof positive) that we would be sub-dividing one day, we didn't pay attention to the lines of our acreage. Actually part of our two acres has been farmed along with the other. So, when my husband built his workshop, according to the deed, he built past our property line onto the farm. This was done while my in laws were still alive. Although I continually said it should be surveyed again and deeded properly my husband felt it would be ours evidentually anyway and never bothered. I guess we shall see what happens.

I would love to buy out the other siblings but the dollar amount would be over 5 million and that is just not feasible. Not a reality in my case. My reason for needing to win the lottery, lol. There is one other brother that lives on the farm and he too does not want to sell. Of course the others don't want to sub-divide because it's a farm and in sub-dividing we'll have to pay more taxes when sold. I have given my husband one other option and that is to tell his family the only way he will sign the papers to sell is if they let us have 5 more acres around us. Or I should say take the cost of 5 acres out of our part when sold. That will probably be laughed at as they are a very jealous and greedy bunch.

One reason the land is worth so much is it is near Huntsville, Al and close to Interstate 65. They are building a new interchange a couple of miles from us and that too will increase the value of the land. I say wait until it's built and the land will be worth even more. I guess I'm just trying to delay the inevitable. The thing too is these siblings do not need the money. They are well off and doing fine financially.

I guess what it boils down to is I've lived a lifestyle for 26 years, kids for 18 and 21, that we are use to and don't want to give up. And as far as the family turmoil, that began a long time ago when they wouldn't sell the homeplace to one of the nieces. She wanted to restore the home, etc., but they said no. Instead they rented it out and it's gone to pot. Very sad.

Oh my, I've gone on and on. Needless to say, I will be obtaining a lawyer come Monday and I do feel better knowing I may have some options. And other option for hubby - I get half of everything and I move out alone!!!!!

Thanks for listening,
AnnMarie
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Old 03-28-2008, 05:07 PM   #11
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Most states have a process by which you can file suit to partition the property. That, too, would be expensive and may not give you your desired outcome. But if you are a fee holder of the property, they can't force you to sell without your consent.
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Old 03-28-2008, 05:22 PM   #12
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I do not see how many siblings are in this mess.... can you say

Let's just say '6' for some reason... then your husband is a 1/6th owner in the land (and if you state is like my state, you own NOTHING as inheritance is separate property)...

This ownership is an 'undivided' ownership... and the other '5' owners can not sell without the last one... it can not happen... my dad was a RE agent and hated when there were many owners because you had to have every one of them sign or the deal did not go through...

SO, as I said, your husband must dig in his heals and be the 'prick' to the rest of the family UNTIL they agree to give him his 26 or whatever acres... and the YOU draw the lines like YOU like them....


And if you are a real prick... NEVER SIGN... EVER.... they can not sell the 160 acres at all.... even though they own most of it.... but then, they will take YOU to court and then you can do your subdivision and they sell their land and you live on yours...


As an aside.. is the other sibling close enough to you that you two can 'combine' your land together and at least have a larger part instead of two smaller ones on the opposite side of the future development?

Don't give away the FARM!!!!
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:53 PM   #13
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There are 6 siblings. My husband and one brother live on the farm. All were given the same opportunity as we were to live here. One sister got her 2 acres, built, then sold the house and one acre and moved into a condo. My mother in law was a wonderful woman and would never openly criticize her children but she was hurt. On top of it all, she sold the land while mother was very sick and then criticized us if she felt we were not at mother's house everyday.

My husband and the one brother, myself, and my sister in law have always taken care of everything for her. My husband farmed the land for 2 years (after a full time job) without ever putting a penny in his pocket and the shop expenses being paid by us. We did this to help her and never expected anything. Up until last year my husband and brother in law farmed the land and paid the others rent. My nephew farms it now.

The oldest brother - the executor of the estate - has always been laid back about it but the pressure from his sisters I think is getting the best of him.

The oldest sister that built and moved is a very selfish and greedy person. Of course she has more money than she'll ever know what to do with, but doesn't want anyone else to have something she doesn't.

One sister has always been jealous of my brother in law that lives here. The only reason I can think of is his kids kept her yard, worked hard, and spent more time with grandmother than any of the others. That niece wanted to buy the home place, even offered to put something in writing she'd never sell, but it wasn't good enough. If anyone deserved the house she did. And whatever older sister wants is right by her.

The last sister is a loving woman, retired, grandmother, and they live on her husbands family farm and sure don't need the money. Her son is the one farming our land now. But again, what the other sister wants she supports. She offered to take the home place after mother's death as her part and sell to our niece but since older sister didn't like it, it wasn't done.

Unfortunately, we made two of the sisters very mad when in 1998, with the blessing of mother, my husband and brother in law built a couple of pullet houses. Of course, trying to be considerate of everyone we built them next to brother in law at the very end of the farm. We built a burm around it, planted trees and shrubs, and you can't even tell what it is from the road and can barely see them from my house. Now these are breeder birds we are contracted to raise, and it's such a high tech facility that we have to shower before we go in and even dust the feed room. We went into debt $450,000.00 to build them. Thankfully they are paid for now and it must not be too unsightly as they built several houses across the road from them. I want say what the older sister said she'd rather see here instead of the pullet houses. I've tried to tell her it's a farm. All she see's are dollar signs. Now I wish I had of built them behind my house in the middle of the farm.

We watched our children grow up here. I watched my children as they walked thru the field to grandmother's. And later road their dirt bike just to be with this precious woman. She loved this place. Even as sick as she was before dying she'd have us sit her on the porch so she could look out at what all her hard work had accomplished.

My children have always talked about building here and how they'd build a shop in between their homes (we tractor pull - their time now), or a barn for horses when they married. I have invisioned my grandchildren walking to my house as they did their grandmother's. Again, we always assumed their would be no problem. It just goes to show you need to make sure everything is taken care of and clarified before someone dies.

I know business is business. I would understand more so if they were hard up for cash. Maybe, lol. Shoot, my family needs the money more so than anyone, yet I don't want to sell. I don't understand a family that can turn their back on something that was so precious to their mother. I don't understand a family that doesn't consider each other. And, as I said, the farm will be worth much more in a few years.

As I said earlier I'm begging for at least 5 acres to be left but they will be afraid we'll sell it and make more on it than them. And to be honest, I don't know if I could live here and watch the destruction of such a lovely place. I can look out at this minute and see the deer come out from the woods to graze. All I see out my back door is a green field surrounded by trees. It's beautiful. We've never shut our blinds, lol. Can you imagine looking out and seeing bulldozers, and builders, and houses going up after all these years? Sickening. What's happened to family? To the pride of having something passed down from generation to generation. Has greed taken over our country or is it just this family?
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:12 PM   #14
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I guess what it boils down to is I've lived a lifestyle for 26 years, kids for 18 and 21, that we are use to and don't want to give up.

And other option for hubby - I get half of everything and I move out alone!!!!!

Thanks for listening,
AnnMarie
That sounds mighty drastic. You will actually divorce your husband of 20+ years of marriage if you don't get your way? That is hard core.

His mother left the property (other than the 2 acres earmarked for your husband and you) to your husband and his brothers and sisters. His siblings also have their rights to their share of the property. Even if they would desire to sell their portion.

IMO your husband and his siblings should determine how many acres each sibling is entitled to. Then your husband and you incorporate that amount of land with his original 2 acres.

Your husband and you have enjoyed the use of farm for 26 years. Now the other siblings should have their turn.

Just because you MAY have a legal right to be a burr underneath someones saddle, does not mean you have the moral right to do so. You should be willing to negotiate in good faith.
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:35 PM   #15
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I think I either was not clear or you misunderstood what I was saying.

The other siblings have ALWAYS had the opportunity to enjoy this farm. Build here and play here.

And I would never begrudge anyone of their part of anything. WE HAVE TRIED to give them their part and let them do what they want with theirs. Just let us have ours and leave us alone. However, it won't bring as much money and they will have to pay more taxes on it if it is sub-divided, or so they've told me. Therefore, they would rather us sacrifice our part for a few more dollars. One brother tried 6 different times to draw up something the sisters would be satisfied with in the way of sub-dividing. Including us taking the least desirable acreage. And as I said, one built here but sold. I don't believe I am being selfish at all.

And as far as the husband thing. That is a different story all together and a long one at that. The land is only a small part of it. The short version is I had hoped since the kids have grown and it was to be just the two of us, we could live here and maybe rebuild our relationship.

So I am sorry I sounded so hard core and made such a bad impression. Believe me I am far from it, except when it comes to my kids maybe.

AnnMarie
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:50 PM   #16
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Believe me if their was any way to buy them out I would. Don't have that kind of money and it is worth quite a bit. I keep hoping I win the lottery and can do just that, lol, but we got an offer this week and I am really upset that soon when I look out my back door I will be watching houses come up on top of me instead of seeing the beautiful green wheat field and small forest my children and I have lived with all these years. It's heart breaking to my children.
AnnMarie
If they were willed the land it is theirs to do with. Obviously your husband can get his share though.
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:52 PM   #17
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I don't understand why you guys care about how much more money they would have to pay in taxes, unless your husband is seriously trying to keep the peace. If your husband is entitled to 160/6, then he should feel no less entitled to that than he feels obligated to do what the other 5 want, right?
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:37 PM   #18
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That may be part of the problem. He's more concerned with keeping the peace with the siblings than with his wife and kids. Yet, I have to push him to go to the few family holiday gatherings we have. Who knows. It's ironic now when I think of when we were first married, or I was first pregnant, no deed to the land, no life insurance and he'd tell me "not a problem". If anything ever happened to him his family would take care of me and the kids, lol. Guess it's a good thing I didn't buy into that one.

Everyone knows how my brother in law and his wife and I feel, but my husband won't say much of anything to them about it one way or the other. I can't discuss it right now with my husband or we fight about it. I can't discuss it with my sister in law that wants to keep hers too or I get mad and it ruins my day. And when the kids bring it up we all end up in tears and I get upset then too because of them, so..................... thanks for letting me vent and thanks for the feed back.

AnnMarie
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:50 PM   #19
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AnnMarie..

You posted some different facts than you did earlier..... is the land in the estate or was it willed equally to all

If she did not specifically will LAND to her children, then it is an asset of the estate and the estate can sell it without your husbands consent... because IT IS NOT HIS..... he is entitled to distributions from the estate, but can not control assets of the estate that do not have specific instructions...

So, the executor might be in control of what happens to the land and you will have to live with the decision... but still get your 1/6th of the proceeds (or should I say your DH will get)....

GET YOUR LAWYER NOW.... it makes a big difference how the will was written...

And I am not a lawyer, so take all this with a grain of salt....
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:12 PM   #20
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Annmarie,

i'm a surveyor in Illinois which is probably a lot different than Alabama. But without knowing the whole picture, i agree with Texas Proud - dont sign anything.

There are a lot of issues here.

How the title of the farm is held
The workshop encroachment
several parties that appear to some interest/title to the farm
terms of the will
tax ramifications

I havent seen anything in this thread that shows that your inlaws can force you to sell your 2 acres - if you're sure it has been deeded to you and your husband.

Get yourself a good real estate attorney. Explain everything. The lawyer should be able to give you some sound advice.
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