When my grandmother passed away a few years ago, she named my father as the executor of her will. The will stipulates that the land she owned in TN is to be equally divided among her three children - my father and his two younger sisters. It says that IF they sell the land, the proceeds are to be divided among them equally. It doesn't have anything about what to do if they choose to keep the land.
Long story short, they've kept the land. For the first three years, there were funds in her estate to pay the land taxes at the end of the year. For the past two years, he's contacted each sister, and all three have paid one-third of the total amount of land tax. The land is sitting empty - there's not a structure of any type on it. Over a year ago, he began talking with them about selling the land as it's not serving any purpose to any of them. With three grandchildren in college, he wanted to give them his share of the proceeds to help pay their college expenses. Both sisters have balked, stating they want to build a house there 'someday.' BTW, these sisters are twins and are 67 years old. About three months ago, one sister divorced her husband and has since refused all calls from just about everyone she knew, including my father. He finally sent a letter to each sister at Christmas, requesting again that they buy out his third if they want to keep the land, or put it up for sale and split the profits equally. He has yet to hear from the recently divorced sister. The other sister finally answered his call, and proceeded to tell him he didn't 'deserve' to get anything because he didn't do anything to help their mother in the last years of her life. This is most definitely not true, but from a legal standpoint it doesn't matter. He is named as the executor, and her will clearly states if they sell it, they're all three to share equally in the profits.
My father has never had much of a 'normal' family relationship with his sisters, but he still hesitates to do anything that will effectively sever all family relations. My mother, on the other hand, is tired of having to deal with them. It isn't so much about the money, although the granddaughters can definitely use it, as it is about the principle of it and just dealing with the sisters.
My question is, can my father 'force' them to sell the land, or buy out his part? What are his options? I've told him that if he doesn't face it, it will fall to my mother to deal with them if he passed away, and if she didn't, then my brother and I would force the issue somehow. I haven't seen either aunt in over ten years; I know it sounds heartless but there's just never been a family bond on that side of the family. I've tried to get him to talk this over with our family lawyer, but I think he's afraid that once he starts down the road, he may not be able to turn back. I'd like to be able to tell him what his options are, and the possible consequences, other than the obvious personal ones. The land, the will and all the parties involved are in Tennessee, if that matters.