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my father has a warranty deed as the sole survivor of three

brothers who built on property...
my father has a warranty deed as the sole survivor of three brothers who built on property years ago. The son of one of the deceased brothers is contesting ownership, but as yet has not produced any documentation showing any legal right to the property. His lawyer has demanded proof from my father of his right to the property and wants him to provide the documentation to the lawyer. I feel this is fishing for faults in the deed and is a tactic to deny my father his rightful property. My father is 87, and I believe they are trying to prolong the fight until he gives up. What should my father do?
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
6/11/2013
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7,424
Experience: 29 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
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Hello and thank you for your question.


If your father was named on a warranty deed with his brothers as joint tenants with rights of survivorship the property, by operation of law, passes to your dad. The deed passes outside of the probate process and it is unnecessary for any of the brothers to have a will.

Does your dad have a copy of the deed naming himself and his brothers as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


yes. This was the deed he presented to the county clerk when a new warranty deed was issued with him as the sole owner. What should he do in reply to the contesting lawyer? My own opinion is that the burden of proof falls on the contesting party, and that my father has the right o peaceful enjoyment of the property.

I agree with you. This is a fishing expedition. Unless or until the attorney has some proof that your father is not the sole owner there is no issue of ownership.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thank you. I will communicate that to my father.

Please feel free to ask me any additional questions that you have with regard to this matter. It would be my pleasure to continue to assist you.

Thank you for using JA!
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

My thought is that the demand from the contesting attorney should be replied to in the following fashion: If you need information it is available at the clerks office. Until you provide legal documentation of a question on ownership, I will do as I wish with my property. Until that time cease and desist contacting me.
Would this be appropriate? What would stop the lawyer from harassing my 87 year old father and creating stress he does not need?? Do I need to punch him in the nose?

Maybe a punch in the nose is in order. No don't punch him. Tell him if he does not stop harassing your father your dad will get a restraining order against him. He can easily search the recorded documents in the county.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thank you. The restraining order would be a figurative punch in the nose, embarrassing him professionally. I would not do the physical punch. I was just trying to express the extent of my disgust with the whole situation. If I am understanding the situation, the lawyer has no right to tell my father to not use his property until and unless a judge rules, and the judge will only rule on evidence, which they have failed to produce at this point. Yes or no will suffice.


If I am understanding the situation, the lawyer has no right to tell my father to not use his property until and unless a judge rules, and the judge will only rule on evidence, which they have failed to produce at this point. Yes or no will suffice.



Exactly. I have no idea how the attorney will be able to show that his client has an interest in the property under the circumstances. A joint tenancy deed with rights of survivorship is very powerful document.

You are correct a Judge would need to rule otherwise to stop your father from using his property.
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7,424
Experience: 29 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
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Thank you.


Please do not hesitate to come back to this question at any time with any follow up questions that you may have for me.
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Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
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Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7,424
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