Nashville, TN asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado

Q: I co-invested in a property with my sis. She died and the place was never in my name. Her husb. won’t respond.

I co-purchased a rental apt with my sister to use as a home base for our business in Denver, CO. I live in Tennessee. The apartment was part of a larger investment I/we made toward a shared business that has since gone bankrupt and failed. It was verbally agreed that we would keep (and perhaps someday sell) the apartment and split the income. My sister put the apartment in her name to make things easier. She has since passed away. A few days ago, I reached out to my brother in law (her husband), saying that I wanted to officially put the apartment in both of our names and have more transparency in regard to expenses and profits. He will not respond...

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2 Lawyer Answers
Donald C Eby
Donald C Eby
Answered
  • Castle Rock, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Hopefully, you have some of these communication and agreements documented. You'll need to protest the probate of sister's estate RE the ownership of the Condo.

This could get complicated and require multiple appearances in CO, as such it is advisable that you obtain CO legal counsel to assist you.

James Alan Greer agrees with this answer

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer
Answered
  • Boulder, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Dear Verbal Contract real estate owner: In the state of Colorado a verbal contract to hold property is invalid as against the statute of frauds (stated briefly "it has to be in writing"). There are maneuvers around the statute, but would depend greatly on the quantity of "corroborating statements" you possess (emails, receipts, shared expense records, property tax payments, utility cost payments, repairs and maintenance, and the like). My expertise is on the real estate side; counsel Eby has mentioned a probate challenge. I agree with his assessment and would urge you to speak to probate counsel as soon as possible.

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