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John, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4466
Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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If my mother in law paid our real estate taxes as a gift to

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If my mother in law paid our real estate taxes as a gift to my wife am I liable for half
Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.

If the transfer of money was for a "gift", then no one owes her repayment of the funds because a "gift" in the legal meaning of the term is an irrevocable transfer of property without expectation of something or a return of the property. Three elements are essential in determining whether or not a gift has been made: delivery, donative intent, and acceptance by the donee. She cannot just change her mind after the fact and demand repayment. The key to proving such a case for you or your wife would be showing that the transfer of funds was done without expectation of repayment.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The court has told me I owe my wife half the money, that came from her mother straight to her. or more likely her mother actually paid the taxes since I can find no payment from her bank statements

Is this part of a divorce settlement? What is your wife's position on it being a gift versus a loan?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it was a gift to her


The best I can tell you in this situation is to appeal the judge's ruling. There should have been clear on instructions on how and what amount of time you have to appeal the matter with the judge's ruling. The law is very clear that gifts do not require repayment, even if the person giving the gift has a change of heart afterward. You'll need to emphasize that in the appeal and present both your and your wife's understanding and any supporting documents or communications that support it was a gift. It's not at all clear to me why you'd be forced to pay half versus there just being a ruling against you and your wife jointly and woud seem that any judgment would be against both of you for the entire amount. But in any event the key to your sucess is showing that it was a gift.

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can be of further assistance. Thanks
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