Is It Possible to Sell an Inherited Property If the Will Is Contested?

image of a will and testament
Last Will and Testament


Contesting a will can create complexities and uncertainties when selling an inherited property. When beneficiaries dispute the validity or provisions of a will, it can significantly impact the administration and distribution of the estate. This article aims to shed light on whether it is possible to sell an inherited property if the will is contested, providing insights into the legal considerations, potential challenges, and available options in such situations.

Understanding a Contested Will

Before exploring the possibility of selling an inherited property with a contested will, it is important to understand the concept of a contested will:

1. Definition of a Contested Will

A contested will refers to a situation in which one or more beneficiaries, potential heirs, or interested parties challenge the validity or terms of a will. This can involve questioning the mental capacity of the testator (the person who made the will), allegations of undue influence, fraud, or errors in the execution of the will.

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2. Legal Proceedings

Contesting a will typically involves initiating legal proceedings, such as filing a lawsuit or a petition with the appropriate court. The court will then review the evidence presented, consider the arguments of the parties involved, and determine the validity and enforceability of the will.

Selling an Inherited Property with a Contested Will

Selling an inherited property when the will is contested can be a complex process. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

Legal Consideration
Legal Consideration

1. Legal Resolution of the Will Contest

Before attempting to sell the inherited property, it is necessary to resolve the legal dispute surrounding the contested will. This requires legal proceedings and a final decision regarding the will’s validity. The resolution of the will contest will determine the legal status and enforceability of the provisions outlined in the will.

2. Executor’s Role and Responsibilities

If the will is contested, the executor’s role becomes particularly important. The executor represents the estate’s interests, including managing and administering the property. The executor must act in accordance with the court’s directions and legal requirements while the will contest is ongoing.

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Court Approval

3. Court Approval for the Sale

Sometimes, the court’s approval may be required before selling the inherited property if the will is contested. The court will review the circumstances, consider the interests of all parties involved, and guide whether the sale can proceed and under what conditions. It is crucial to consult with an attorney to navigate the legal requirements and obtain the necessary court approvals, if applicable.

4. Potential Settlement or Mediation

In situations where the will contest involves multiple parties, it may be possible to explore settlement options or mediate to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Mediation can provide a more efficient and cost-effective way to address disputes and potentially facilitate the sale of inherited property. Consulting with an experienced mediator or attorney can help assess the feasibility of settlement or mediation in your case.

image of a two story inherited house for sale
Inherited House for Sale

5. Post-Resolution Sale

Once the will contest is resolved, and if the court approves the sale, the inherited property can be listed for sale. The property can be marketed through a real estate agent or other appropriate channels. Proceeds from the sale will be distributed based on the final court decision or the terms of a settlement agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs: Sell Inherited Property with a Contested Will

Q: Can I sell an inherited property while the will contest is ongoing?

A: Selling an inherited property while the will contest is ongoing may be challenging. The sale process is often put on hold until the legal dispute is resolved and the court issues a final decision regarding the will’s validity. However, consulting with an attorney can provide a better understanding of the specific circumstances and any potential options for selling the property during the contested will process.

Q: What if the inherited property needs to be sold urgently?

A: If the inherited property needs to be sold urgently due to financial constraints or other pressing reasons, it is important to communicate the situation to the court and seek their guidance. The court may expedite the resolution process or provide specific instructions regarding the sale.

Q: Can a settlement agreement include provisions for the sale of the inherited property?

A: Yes, a settlement agreement reached during the will contest process can include provisions for the sale of the inherited property. The agreement may outline the conditions, timelines, and distribution of proceeds from the sale. It is crucial to consult with an attorney to ensure that the settlement agreement aligns with the legal requirements and protects your interests.

Q: What if the will is ultimately declared invalid?

A: If the court declares the will invalid after the contested will process, the distribution of assets, including the inherited property, will be determined based on the laws of intestate succession. In such cases, the property may be distributed among the heirs according to the state’s guidelines.

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In Conclusion


Selling an inherited property when the will is contested requires navigating the legal complexities and ensuring compliance with court procedures. It is crucial to engage in the legal resolution of the will contest and obtain a final court decision before proceeding with the sale. Consulting with an experienced attorney specializing in estate and probate matters is essential to understand the legal requirements, obtaining necessary court approvals, and protecting your interests. By carefully navigating the challenges and seeking professional guidance, it is possible to sell an inherited property even in a contested will.

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