Washington, DC asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia

Q: My grandmother's will left property to her 2 children. There was a large mortgage on the property. My son paid it off.

My son is now joint owner with uncle. Since my son paid off the debt to keep it from being lost 90,000 dollars does he have any legal rights outside of just being owner.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Before the statute of limitations expires, he should issue a proper demand and then, if needed, file a lawsuit for contribution from the other co-owner. It's an easy lawsuit, and it expires when the statute of limitations expires. The payment of the debt does not change the percentage ownership of the property, but there is a right of contribution ... if it is timely exercised. The settlement may result in him getting a bigger share of the property or selling the property to pay off his contribution.

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