The Governor recently signed SF 2175 into law which replaces Iowa Code Chapter 651 which deals with Partition of Real Estate. The biggest change in the new law is the establishment of a partition procedure for “heirs property”. For the first time a new law allows the equitable remedy of “owelty” which provides for a payment of money to equalize the value of property received in a partition in kind action. Under the new Chapter, an individual who inherits property as a tenant in common with other relatives and who does not want to sell the property, in all likelihood would not be required to do so. It appears that a Court’s remedy in such situations will be a partition in kind whereby a portion of the real estate will be deeded to each of the heirs or the party who does not want to sell the real estate will be required to buyout the other owners. The new law was effective July 1, 2018. The new law reverses the old law which favored partition by sale.
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By James D. Beatty