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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Hi,M father passed away when I was 10 leaving his 4 children

Customer Question

M father passed away when I was 10 leaving his 4 children 50% of our family home. My mother remarried and when renovating this home she paid my sister $30k for her 1/4 of that 50%.

Shortly there after, my brother, who is an attorney, approached me and talked me into giving away my portion to our step father, claiming he was doing the same, in order to make our step father feel "invested" in the home he was contributing to.

I signed whatever my brother put in front of me without reading it. I did specify verbally that I would only agree if it reverted back upon either the death of my mother or step father.

I never got a copy and I, a few years later, was determined to be completely 100% disabled due to a diagnosis of Bipolar disorder. My mother and step father, once they gained control of my property, have never spoken to me since. I have felt deeply saddened and immensely remorseful for having been duped by my older attorney brother.

Do I have ANY legal recourse? Living on a disability income of approximately $10-12k a year is extremely challenging, especially with no help from family at all. I don't believe it would have been my deceased fathers wish to have me practically homeless while my ,other and step after live comfortably in what was our family home.

I thank you in advance for your help with this matter.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 4 years ago.

William B. Esq. : Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. I would like to assist you with your legal question today.
William B. Esq. : Unfortunately, I do not see any legal recourse in your particular situation. A transfer of property by written deed is binding absent a fraudulent statement or other inducement. In your case the inducement to transfer the property based on your brother's desire to make your step-father feel "invested" is sufficient to create a viable basis for this transfer, there does not appear on the face of the transaction to be any fraud.
William B. Esq. : This determination as to whether or not there was a fraudulent statement by your brother is of course fact dependent and you will need to evaluate whether your brother told you something that was false, intending you to rely on it, and you did rely on it. Given the fact that this was a written document that you signed, the Court will deem you to have read and understood it even though you did not, this will make your case more difficult.
William B. Esq. : As I do not have all of the facts in front of me, and a claim for fraud in these cases is based entirely on the facts, you may want to consult an attorney to see if your facts are sufficiently different to create a claim in this matter.
William B. Esq. : I do wish that I had information that was more supportive of your position, and I am sorry to hear that you were manipulated. I wish you the best of luck with this matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know. Best regards, Bill.
JACUSTOMER-58yh2ooh- : So William, having been diagnosed as Bipolar has no bearing on this question?
William B. Esq. : Unfortunately no, the fact that you are bipolar will not affect this question under the circumstances you identified. The only way it might would be if you could classify it as a mental impairment such that you could not comprehend what you were doing at the time you did it, and that your brother knew this at the time and had you sign anyway. As you describe it, you knew you were signing over the title, and your brother told you what the intent of the signing was, you may have a claim but it will be a very tenuous one. I would advise seeking advice from a local attorney (at least a consultation) if you intend to file suit as this type of claim can be very costly and your cause of action is difficult.