Q: My brother inherited my mom's house 4 years ago and basically abandoned it. I live in the home and now he wants it
This is in Florida. I have lived here more than 10 years and he had my mom sign a quit claim deed 2 weeks before she died, however she was heavily medicated and in hospice. Last week he told me he wants my kids and I to move so he and his new family can have the house. He has never invested a single penny into the property. I've paid every mortgage payment, property tax, insurance, all repairs and maintenance and he has visited the home maybe 4 or 5 times since 2019 and only for about 5 mins at a time. What are my options?
A: Presumably your mother died four years ago. Obviously, you are aware that there is an issue with the quitclaim deed. The statute of limitations for adverse possession is seven years, but all the detail you give about your taking care of the property expenses, your brother rarely visiting the property, etc., is irrelevant. Until your brother files a probate petition to avoid the quitclaim deed and establish his title to the property, he cannot evict you.
A: First, you can challenge the quitclaim deed from your mother to your brother under the legal theory that your mother was of unsound mind at the time of the execution of the deed. If you are successful, the property would then pass according to your mother's will if she had one or to her heirs if she did not. If you and your brother are her only children, she was not married, and she had no will, you and your brother would inherit the property equally if you could set aside the deed. In that case, if the two of you could not agree on what to do with the property, you would have to sell the property as part of the probate of your mother's estate and split the proceeds or file a partition action to have a court decide if the property may be equally split or, if not, must be sold. Schedule a free consultation to fully cover all of the details so you can make the best decision.
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