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Sister liable as cotenant in family farm fight

A dissenting sibling in a dispute over the disposition of a family farm must share in the costs of a subdivision plan when the plan helped to increase the value of the property, the Supreme Court of Virginia holds.

As we reported in November , the family of a deceased Loudoun county physician could not agree on what to do with his 350-acre “Mountain Gap Farm.”  Over the objections of a sister living in France, the other siblings took steps to clear the way for subdivision of the land into 68 parcels, a move that likely increased the value of the property.

The Loudoun County circuit court held the sister was on the hook for her share of the cost of the subdivision plan, and the Supreme Court today agrees in de Benveniste v. Aaron Christensen Family, LP .

By Peter Vieth

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