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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33713
Experience:  15 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My father n law lives in New York, back in 1999 he and s

Customer Question

My father n law lives in New York, back in 1999 he and his wife decided to do what they were told by an attorney that they were doing a life estate deed to their son.....which turned out to be a warranty deed instead giving the son the property at that time with my in laws having life tenant rights.....and has been trying to get the deed overturned because of some of the things that the son has been doing....but because it wasn't a life estate deed no one will help him change the deed over to another of his children....what can be done?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes and ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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If the deed transferred the property to son with parents reserving a life estate, then this is a life estate deed and son's rights to possession would only vest once parents passed away.

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A life estate deed is a Warranty Deed that has a life tenant and a "remainderman" who becomes the sole owner once the life tenant dies. But while the life tenant is living, the remainderman has no possessory rights to the property.

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I hate to say it, but it is very unlikely that they could do anything at this point mostly due to the amount of time that has passed after the transfer. If they had done it and then realized it and taken action to file a quiet title action to have the deed declared void after a few months or so, then a judge might have agreed to set the deed aside.

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But 17 years later, a judge is probably going to rule that it is too late to do anything about it.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

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