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Basically, with that type of property it is often difficult to say who it "rightfully belongs to". Your sister could have claimed that he gave it all to her as a gift, but she was trying to do what she thought was right. His statement to her basically does constitute a gift, at least to her, because he gave her actual possession, which he did not give to his family. Therefore, it could be argued that at least as to half of the property, the gift was in fact completed before he died. The family would have a very difficult time proving otherwise in court
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