Cypress, TX asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Texas

Q: We live in my husband's grandfather house for almost 10 years. His grandfather died and years ago left the house to his

son and daughter in gift deed. We are in process of getting the sons part of deed signed over to my husband who is his son. We have paid taxes and insurance on house for years. What is our chances of getting the house if she's fighting for money for her half?

2 Lawyer Answers
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Your payment of taxes and insurance does not entitle you to property -- unless it has been abandoned and you have paid the taxes for at least 10 years. The daughter might well view this as rent -- and maybe not enough rent. Either of the heirs can force a partition and sale, perhaps buying out the other.

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Arlington, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Can you afford to buy out her share of the house? Her remedy would likely be to force a partition sale, which takes much of the control away from you. I would get with a probate attorney in your area who can get the title issues resolved definitively and quickly. Then file suit against her because she has failed to contribute to the payment of property taxes. You can either pursue a reimbursement claim against her, or you can compel her to sell her share to you, less the amount of property tax she should have paid. Regardless how it is resolved, you'll need an attorney to adequately protect your interests.

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