How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask The Guy Behind the Tree Your Own Ques...
The Guy Behind the Tree
The Guy Behind the Tree, Experienced Investor & Financier
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 1387
Experience:  Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the guy behind the tree.
Type Your Tax Question Here...
The Guy Behind the Tree is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My friend is a caretaker for a man and they both live in ...

This answer was rated:

My friend is a caretaker for a man and they both live in the same house. They bought the house and put both of their names on it. The agreement was that if anything happened to him that she would get the house. Circumstances have arose and now he is wanthing to make it so that if anything happens that the house will go to his son.
Your friend's name is XXXXX XXXXX title to the house, presumably as a tenant in common as to a 50% interest. That will not change unless and until she signs that interest away.

Your friend should engage the services of an experienced real estate attorney NOW, in anticipation of possible trouble. The other party can only dispose of his 50% interest - by a deed or by a will - but if he is trying to reverse the original agreement she would be wise to take action now to ensure that she doesn't lose her 50% interest in the property.

Unless she has a written agreement regarding the man's 50% interest, she is likely to have a hard time proving her rights to that other 50%. Perhaps experienced legal counsel can help her in that regard.
The Guy Behind the Tree and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to The Guy Behind the Tree's Post: What your saying is that she can't lose her half of the house but he can give his half to his son Troy. Also, that if he wants to he may be able to get her half? How is that possible if she has her name on it?
Depending on whether or not your friend has a written agreement regarding her 50% interest in the house, beyond having her name on the deed, her co-owner can cause her legal grief if she is not prepared to defend her claim. Far better to be prepared now rather than have to defend the situation later.

For example, what will she do if Troy decides to get belligerent once his father passes away? Legally she might be in good shape but what about during the time she has to "prove it"?

That's why I recommend legal counsel NOW, in anticipation of future trouble.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
What kinds of things can help prove her ownership? The bills are in her name; is that enough? Does this sound like a case that someone might do pro bono? For the past year she has been working for him without getting any money for herself, so she really can't afford too much right now.
The deed and the tax bills being in your friend's name as to a 50% interest will be a major factor in her showing a 50% interest in the property. But if she was promised the OTHER 50% interest in return for caring for the man, she will have some "proving up" to do if that agreement was not in writing.

The fact that she has been working for him in anticipation of receiving the other 50% of the house is a strong factor in her asserting a claim to the other 50%, but without a written agreement she would be well advised to seek legal counsel now. Eventually she will own at least 50%, and perhaps 100%, of the house, at which time she will be able to pay for her legal representation, even if she has no savings now. Alternatively, she can borrow against her 50% (or 100%) when the time comes.

But her lack of funds makes her an even easier target for bullying tactics from the man's son, or even the man himself. She must act now to protect her position.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank you very much.