My husband and I lived in his mother's 2 family house in one of the apartments
for 40 years. We have 3 grown children.
In the mid 80's, my husband's brother and wife came to live in my mother-in-law's apartment with her. They have 2 grown children.
My mother-in-law had a will which divided her possesions among her 3 children. The 2 brothers also have a sister who is married and lives elsewhere.
My husband was not aware of this, but my mother-in-law signed the house over to my husband's brother in about 1995. To be fair, she had asked my husband if he wanted the house. He inexplicably said that he did not want the house, but he did not know that title was transferred later on to his brother.
My mother-in-law died in 2002. My brother-in-law gave his sister a settlement of $80,000, saying that this was one-third of the approximate value of the house in 1995. We continued to live there - my husband and I in one apartment; his brother and wife in the other. We paid a modest amount in rent - $800 per month, which was agreeable to my brother-in-law. We thought the house was in the estate process and we were paying the taxes and some minor things from time to time, such as painting, a new washer and some appliances as needed.
My brother-in-law wants us to leave our apartment and offered us $80,000. He said he was under no obligation to offer us anything, that at the time of her death, the house did not come into play because it no longer belonged to her.
We were thinking of seeing a lawyer, but were curious if we have any grounds to do so or if we're wasting our time (and legal fees). We had a figure in mind, thinking that he would have the entire house to himself and could sell it at a good price or rent our apartment and have some profit. Thank you.