The Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act
Effective January 1, 2022, the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (the “Act”), Code of Civil Procedure section 874.311, et seq. governs the partition of inherited property. The purpose of the Act is to protect heirs from unscrupulous speculators who acquire a small partial interest in real property owned by a group of heirs and then force the sale of the property at a below-market price.
Partition of Heirs Property
Pursuant to the Act, if the court determines that the property in question is “heirs property,” the property shall be partitioned pursuant to the Act, unless all of the cotenants otherwise agree in writing or on the record. Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 874.312(e), the term “heirs property” is defined as follows:
(e) real property held in tenancy in common which satisfies all of the following requirements as of the filing of a partition action:
(1) There is no agreement in a record binding all the cotenants which governs the partition of the property.
(2) One or more of the cotenants acquired title from a relative, whether living or deceased.
(3) Any of the following applies:
(A) Twenty percent or more of the interests are held by cotenants who are relatives.
(B) Twenty percent or more of the interests are held by an individual who acquired title from a relative, whether living or deceased.
(C) Twenty percent or more of the cotenants are relatives.
Partitioned Property Subject to Appraisal
In the event the Act applies, unlike a regular partition action, the subject property will be subject to an appraisal by a California licensed real estate appraiser to determine its fair market value before it is sold at a partition sale. Following the appraisal, the parties have an opportunity to object.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in certain situations, an appraisal will not be required. Specifically, an appraisal may not be necessary if the parties have agreed to the value of the property or to another method of valuation or if the evidentiary value of an appraisal is outweighed by the cost of the appraisal. In the latter situation the court shall determine the fair market value of the property and send notice to the parties of the value after an evidentiary hearing.
Schorr Law has experience with all types of real estate disputes, including partition disputes regarding inherited property. We have leading cases in California on partition and have litigated partition matters hundreds if not thousands of times. To schedule a consultation with one of our partition attorneys in Los Angeles, California, please contact us at (310) 954-1877, or send us a message by filling out our contact form.
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