Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
bobs

Joint farmland ownership

7 posts in this topic

Two relatives own 200 acres of undivided farmland (each owns 100 acres) that is worked by a single farmer, with a single lease that specifies that rent checks are to be mailed to each owner annually. 

 

1)  If one owner dies without a Will, will his property be sold by probate court?  If so, will this prevent the living owner from receiving his own rent check?

 

2)  If one owner dies with a Will, will the status of his property be determined by probate court?, and will this potentially interrupt the living owner from receiving his own rent check?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't answer the questions without knowing how the land is held by the two owners.  

 

If the property is held by them as "tenants in common" the interest in the property of the first of the owners to die will go to his or her heirs if there is no will or to the beneficiary named in his or her will.  

 

If the property is owned by them as "joint tenants with right of survivorship"* or, if they are married to one another "tenants by the entireties", the full ownership of the property will pass to the tenant living longest. 

 

So, you need to find out exactly how the property is owned.

 

If you inherited the property it is probably owned as tenants in common.

 

So, the question is, how does the deed to the property read?  The probate court only determines who owns the property.  The owners determine whether to sell it or not.

 

*Note that in some jurisdictions. ownership simply as "joint tenants" will be considered as tenancy in common unless the magic words "with right of survivorship" are appended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you...that is very helpful.  The property is held as "tenants in common".  The remaining question would be if the living owner would still receive his rent check on time, assuming the lease does not deal with death of one owner.

Appreciate your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The checks should be written: one to the living owner and one to the estate of the deceased owner.  The death of one of the owners doesn't affect the obligation of the lessee to pay for the lease.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bobs said:

Two relatives own 200 acres of undivided farmland (each owns 100 acres)

 

If they own undivided interests, then the statement that "each owns 100 acres" isn't correct.  That's what "undivided" means in this context.

 

 

1 hour ago, bobs said:

If one owner dies without a Will, will his property be sold by probate court?

 

The reference to "his property" doesn't entirely make sense given your reference to the two owners holding undivided interests (see my question above).  Also, the probate court might order property to be sold or the sale of property may be necessary because of the probate process, but the court would never sell anyone's property itself.  Whether the sale of any portion of the property that is the subject of this discussion might become necessary isn't something we can answer without a lot more information.

 

 

1 hour ago, bobs said:

If one owner dies with a Will, will the status of his property be determined by probate court?

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "status of his property."  Nor is it clear why you think it matters if the owner dies with or without a will.  Since you've told us that the two owners own the property as tenants in common, when one of the owners dies, his interest in the property will become part of his estate (whether or not he has a will).  What happens after that is impossible to predict.  The process of administering an estate generally looks like this:  (1) the executor/administrator/personal representative (I'll use "executor" going forward) of the estate gets appointed; (2) the executor identifies and takes control of assets of the estate; (3) the executor identifies estate debt; (4) the executor liquidates estate assets to the extent necessary to pay estate debt; and (4) the executor distributes anything that's left to the beneficiaries identified in the will or the heir(s) under the law of intestate succession (i.e., the law that says who gets what when a person dies without a will).

 

 

1 hour ago, bobs said:

will this potentially interrupt the living owner from receiving his own rent check?

 

No reason why it should, but we obviously haven't read the lease and are dealing with an incomplete hypothetical.

 

 

30 minutes ago, bobs said:

The remaining question would be if the living owner would still receive his rent check on time, assuming the lease does not deal with death of one owner.

 

Again, no reason why the death of one owner should have any impact on the surviving owner receiving his lease payment.  Of course, again, we haven't read the lease or any other relevant documents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you...good information.  I think we will soon subdivide the land (will have separate real estate tax payments, and can avoid a three-way rent negotiation).  Also we'll look closely at the lease verbiage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0