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My mother has been living with her boyfriend here in Texas…

My mother has been...

My mother has been living with her boyfriend here in Texas for about 10 years. He died approx 10 years ago while she continued to live in his home and has paid the town taxes for that period of time. She recently got sick and had to stop working and moved back to Canada. She was a nurse working here legally. She wants to know if she can be considered legal owner of the home and what she has to do to prove it. She would like to sell it although there was a lein on it from her boyfriend. He did not have a will. He does have a son who has not kept in touch or asked about the property. We do not know where he lives. What can she do to get legal ownership and does she need an attorney?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Texas

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No. I dont think so.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No. Thank you.

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Answered in 12 minutes by:
3/13/2018
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41,136
Experience: 17 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

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If she has moved back to Canada, who is in possession of the house now?

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And she has proof that she has paid the taxes for the last 10 years?

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No one is living there right now. She left the property in September 2017 but is keeping up with the maintenance and taxes, insurance. I think she could obtain proof from the town office if she doesnt have the papers filed at her house.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Its better for me right now to text. Thank you
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hello. I wanted to make sure continued texting was ok. Its better for me to text right now. Thank you.

Sorry for the delay... your response just popped up... just a minute

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Ok, under TX law, if she was in sole use and possession of the property for 10 years without permission from the estate, then she could legally claim ownership of the property under the "adverse possession" laws. She would have to hire a local attorney in TX to file a "quiet title" lawsuit against the estate and then prove she has been in possession of it for at least 10 years. The tax bills would be a very good way to prove this along with her verbal testimony.

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Then the judge should enter an order awarding her legal ownership of the property and she can then do what she wanted to with it.

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you very much. Does it have to be at least 10 years?.. I was guessing at the time period. Also, can you tell me how much you think it would cost to hire an attorney for that?

Yes, the specific law states it has to be at least 10 years... See Sections 16.021 through 16.034 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code.

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And I would probably ballpark it a $3-5K.. assuming that no one would contest it.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you again. As well, can I do this work for her as she is in Canada? Could i just get a letter stating she is giving me "permission" to do this or do I have to be legal power of attorney? Also if so, what do i have to do to get POA?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sorry for so many questions

Nope, you can't legally testify on her behalf in court about what she did to take possession, whether she allowed anyone else on the property, how long she was there, answer any questions the judge might have, etc. If she wants to be able to claim ownership, she is the one who would have to pursue this in TX personally.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok. Thank you. That's a dissappointing answer. Just to make sure.. if she is sick and unablt to make it back here and I have POA , she would still need to be present? Thats should be theast of my questions on this matter. Thank you again.

Yes, unfortunately that would be required for her to be able to claim legal ownership. I suppose it could be possible for her to hire an attorney in TX to file the case, then arrange for any testimony to be by video conference due to mother's health..

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I have seen cases where it has worked and this might be one of them since it is unlikely that the case would be contested by someone representing his estate.

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So rather than walk away, I think it is worth at least talking to a local TX real estate attorney to see if they would be wiling to approach the local judge to see if he would allow it.

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thanks

Barrister

Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41,136
Experience: 17 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
Verified
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you . I have enjoyed being able to use this service and ask questions at my pace. Thanks again for your answers and providing this service! I will let others know about it. Very good service.

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time.

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. If you ever need me in the future, you can post a new question with "For Barrister" in the title and the JustAnswer employees will get it to me.

.

.

Thanks much

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you!
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