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N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 9027
Experience:  I've represented both landlords and tenants.
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We ( My wife, step daughter ) were asked to move from Del

Customer Question

We ( My wife, step daughter ) were asked to move from Del Rio, Tx. to here, ******, Ga. ( ******** County ) in 2011 by ******* and ****** ****** my wife's father and step mother. The *******'s own approx. 30 acres with two separate homes. They paid $5,000.00 to own, and offered, the second home to us, free at first. After moving in, the wife and I discussed and decided it was only fair for us to pay the *******'s @ $100.00 a month till the $5,000.00 was payed off. ( This was not put in writing as it was a family, verbal agreement.) One month after moving in, Mr ****** passed due to serious health complications. Prior to his death, he had his daughter ( my wife ), ****** **** sign a will that made her executor of his estate should he and Mrs.S**************** pass, also promising Tracey "someday this land will be all yours." Since Mr.********'s passing, we've never seen any will, and 7/8ths of the way through paying the $5,000.00 Widow *********decides things are different. ( The full $5,000.00 + has been paid in full as of March of 2016 ) She is denying us ownership of said home, has verbally told us " I've changed my mind, your just "renting" the home were in, and in order for us to stay forced a "renters agreement" on us to which our "lease" expires in July 2016.
She's doing this out of greed and spite, and we need to know if we have any legal recourse to the original agreement, our monies paid, and the future of Mr.**********'s wishes for his d******* to own this land when he and Mrs. ***** pass.
Feeling ripped off and violated!
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 5 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very 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 or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question..Is there anything in writing to document this agreement? Emails, texts, letters, other witnesses who could testify?.Has anyone filed a probate case to settle the father's estate?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I have many emails from the wife's father about wanting us out here, but nothing directly stating the "place was ours". That, as stated in original question, was all verbal.
Also as mentioned in original question, no will was ever produced by the widow. We can only assume she put the land her name only after his passing.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 5 months ago.
Yes, I read your original question thoroughly but wanted to confirm that there was no type of other written reference outside a written contract for sale that could be used as proof in a breach of contract lawsuit. If you don't have anything at all, to be honest, this is going to be a tough case to make because under a legal doctrine called the "Statute of Frauds" any contract regarding the sale of real estate has to be in writing in order to be enforceable..So you would say father sold the house to you and wife for the $5K, the widow would say that there was no agreement to sell and that the $100 a month was just token rent, and without anything else to support your contention, I don't see a judge ruling in your favor. The burden of proof is on you to prove that there was an agreement by a "preponderance of the evidence" which means you have to convince a judge that it is more likely than not that there was an agreement..Now I am not saying it isn't possible to convince the judge with both your and wife's verbal testimony, but it will be difficult..And further, if you actually signed a "renter's agreement" instead of refusing and filing suit against the estate, that further harms your case because you are agreeing that you are a tenant by signing that agreement..I hate to say it, but I think you will have a difficult time proving that there was a sales contract entered into with the parents. 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.....thanksBarrister
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 months ago.
New Expert here. promising Tracey "someday this land will be all yours." is potentially an enforceable promise. ["W]hen one devotes work, energy and effort on behalf of a promisor and in reliance on the promises made forgoes opportunities elsewhere whether it be for 17 years as in Healy or 5 years as in Riganti or 26 years as we note herein, then '[s]ince the making of a will cannot be compelled, there can be no specific performance of such a contract in the strict sense, but under certain circumstances equity will give relief equivalent to specific performance'". Estate of Brenzikofer (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 1461, 1467; see Byrne v. Laura (1997) 52 Cal.App.4th 1054, 1068. An agreement to live near someone has been found sufficient to support this kind of promise, see The law in Georgia will be comparable to the California cases I cited. I think the first step is to force her to produce the Will, which is required by law:2015 Georgia CodeTitle 53 - WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATESChapter 5 - PROBATEArticle 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS§ 53-5-5 - Duty to file willUniversal Citation: GA Code § 53-5-5 (2015) A person having possession of a will shall file it with reasonable promptness with the probate court of the county having jurisdiction. The probate court may attach for contempt and may fine and imprison a person withholding a will until the will is delivered. You can get a free consultation from some of probate attorneys listed by location here. Please follow up on this with a local attorney. A demand letter from an attorney is usually enough to get a copy of the Will.

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