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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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My father-in-law promised my husband and me $60,000--we have

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My father-in-law promised my husband and me $60,000--we have this in writing--if we let him move in with us, but now he says he's not going to pay it. All three of our names on the accounts. Can my husband or I withdraw the promised amount from the account without legal ramifications?

Thank you for your question. I need to know a little bit more about your circumstances before I can answer.

1. You say that you have a promise made in writing. What does the writing say exactly?

2. Did your father in law in fact move in with you?

3. How long was he supposed to stay and when was he supposed to pay you the money?

4. Are you all full signatories and owners on the account (i.e., is it a joint account)?

5. Whose money is in the account in the first place and how did it get there?

6. Why does your father in law say he does not want to pay?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The writing says exactly that he will give us $60,000. It was understood that he would do this when his house sold which was last week.


Yes, he moved in with us after spending months renovating our house to his specifications. This was supposed to be a permanent--until the end of his life situation.


Yes, we are all full signatories and owners on the account.


The money was earned by him and his wife over a lifetime. My husband is his only child.


He has not said for sure that he doesn't want to, but he's dragging his feet, and last night he announced that he was moving out, simply because we were asking him about it. He also promised to give us $600 month for rent and last week he gave us $400 which seemed to indicate that he had changed his mind in that regard as well.


Legally, as a co-signatory on a bank account, you can withdraw the money as you see fit, as long as there is no written agreement that limits you as to how you can withdraw the money.

The writing that you have sounds like it could arguably be considered as a contract. In other words, your father in law agreed that he would pay you $60,000.00 in exchange for letting him live in your house for an unlimited amount of time.

If you were to simply withdraw the money from the account, you could face a legal claim by him that you have made an unauthorized withdrawal and converted money that legally belonged to him. The fact that he gave you access to the account seems to indicate to me otherwise, but you should know that he would have the right to bring such a claim in court against you.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So even if he does indeed move out, the fact that we have a paper in his own handwriting that says he will give us $60,000, gives us some legal claim to that money?


I understand he could sue us for taking the money from the account since we didn't contribute to that account(s).

Based on what you've told me, I would say that the writing could provide you a basis to the claim for $60,000.00 as an enforceable contract.
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