How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33148
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Dwayne B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My sister,married to husband 21 years. He dies in June 2011

This answer was rated:

My sister,married to husband 21 years. He dies in June 2011 and has no will on file. Property they live on was in husbands name and was given to him through inheritance before my sister and David were married. In Dec 2011 she is in accident and becomes a quadrapalegic. Have been told by others, not professional capacity, that land now goes to his siblings as they never had children together and no will. She wanted to do a quit claim and was wondering if possible. She is in a recovery program now, and doing quite well and will be returning to the marital home. My question, can we do a quit claim? And with LA archaic Napoleonic law does she have a right to the home and land? And during her recovery can she file a quit claim and put in trust?

Thank you
Becky Ann Arseneau
POA for sister Barbara

JD 1992 :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.

JD 1992 :

Did he have children at all, not just from this marriage?

Customer: No
JD 1992 :

Are his parents alive?

Customer: No , his father died many years ago and David's mother gave each of the brothers 3.2 acres each. This was done about 5 years before she passed away
JD 1992 :

Then the separate property does go to the siblings.

JD 1992 :

Can you explain what you are asking about the quitclaim?

JD 1992 :

Are you still there?

Customer: I was told that if she resides on property for 30 years then it would revert to her. As my sister was talking to now retired lawyer who used to practice in LA it was she who recommended quitclaim. Also,how 30 year requirement for residence could be reduced to 15.
Customer: Sorry,thesis so confusing forme and I may not be relaying my info correctly
JD 1992 :

There is a legal theory normally known as adverse possession but in LA it is called acquisitive prescription.

JD 1992 :

It is a thirty year time frame and there is no way to reduce it.

JD 1992 :

A quitclaim deed is just a deed from someone who may own an interest in the property to someone else.

JD 1992 :

In this case, the only way she would acquire anything by a quitclaim deed is if the siblings quitclaimedit to her.

JD 1992 :

She could also ask them if they would give her a life estate in the property. That would allow her to use it for the term of her life and then when she passes away it is theirs.

Customer: Are you still there?
JD 1992 :

I am here

Customer: Are you still there?
JD 1992 :

I am here. Can you see this?

JD 1992 :

It looks like chat may have just glitched. I will switch this to a Q and A format. You will need to exit and reenter the question.

Customer: Could you explain what acquisitive prescription is as I had never heard of that term used. Sorry
No problem.

Acquisitive Prescription is a LA term that means if you take actual possession of property that is not yours, use it openly, use it against the interests of the owner, use it continuously and without their permission, then after 30 years it becomes yours. You have to meet all of those requirements in order for it to become yours. So if the real owner is letting you use it then it doesn't qualify.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So the acquisitive prescription would not apply correct? Any suggestions as to where to go from here? Thank you so much as LA LAW Is confusing ....told him he should have made a will. We wouldn't have this problem now
Yes, a will would have solved everything.
You may want to check with whatever lawyer he used and see if he did do a will and left it at the lawyers's office. You can also look to see if he kept a will in a safety deposit box.

The most logical thing to do is ask the siblings if they would allow her to have a life estate or usufruct over the house and land while she lives.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Have checked safety deposit boxes but will ask my sis if there was a lawyer he dealt with on a regular basis. But, as with most people they have phobias about wills so will not be very promising. So death cert were filed but probate was never started. Where should I go from here as I know there were outstanding medical bills of his. Do I file?
I don't see any need to file at this time unless there is going to be some kind of property that she gets and needs to clear his name off of. The bank may require a probate for some reason.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
There was no other property except this one. There is no money to pay some of his outstanding medical bills which reflects on my sisters credit also. The property they lived on is worth about 300,000 and that is property only. How the house ever survived all the hurricanes no one knows as it started as a hunting cabin with multiple additions but only about 1000 sq ft.
There is no need for her to spend the money and open a probate then. You may want to sit down with a local lawyer just to discuss it but they are likely to tell you that it isn't worth filing.
Dwayne B. and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Great, sleep will be better now. Thank you for all your info and have a great evening

Related Legal Questions