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Dividing Estates Among Siblings

2 brothers were left a piece of real estate by their father. Reuven wants to divide the land and sell while Shimon doesn’t. The reason Shimon wants to keep the property is that it generates income at a higher interest rate than can be received otherwise and selling it will result in a tax that can otherwise be pushed off for many years. Does Reuven have the right to force Shimon to sell even though it will result in a loss and a tax? Does Reuven need to compensate Shimon for the loss?


Reuven cannot force Shimon to sell the land (see sources below).

Best wishes.


If jointly owned property can be divided into parts, with each partner receiving a usable portion, the halachic ruling is that one partner can force the other to split the property.

If the property cannot be split in a manner that provides each partner with a usable portion – which I understand is the case for the relevant land in the question (see Chasam Sofer, Choshen Mishpat 12, quoted in Pis’chei Teshuvah 171:3, concerning a case in which the division will cause a significant loss) – neither partner can force a division of that property (Choshen Mishpat 171:1).

If the partnership cannot be split, one partner cannot demand that the property be sold and that the proceeds be divided. The demand he can make is that one partner buy out the other out – a claim known as gud oh agud – “either you buy my share or allow me to buy your share.” The person wishing to dissolve the partnership must offer his partner the option of buying out his share; at the same time, he must be willing (and able) to buy out his partner’s share, for otherwise he will have no leverage
[Gud oh agud can be offered only if the property’s genuine value is offered, for otherwise a wealthier partner can take advantage of his poor partner; see Choshen Mishpat 171:6).]
Thus, Reuven will have to make an offer of gud oh agud, and cannot force the sale of the land against the other partner’s wishes.


When one of the partners requests the sale, the other partner will have

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