An 70 y.o. woman wants to take her son’s name off her home and make it hers only. How can she do this legally?

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An 70 y.o. woman wants to take her son’s name off her home and make it hers only. How can she do this legally?

Asked on June 2, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Normally in a situation like this, the only recourse she has without his consnet will be to file a lawsuit against the son. However, there are limited causes of action that would be available to her. The main one would be a plenary action to have her declared titled owner. However, she would need a reason to have his interest declared null and void and would have to show that she was duped or coerced into having her son placed on the deed or some other compelling reason. The other action would be an action for partition which would force the son to give his mother her interst in the house. However, this is risky because he could be declared half owner and then the house sold and he receive half. Her best hope to is to work out an arrangement with him to get him to sign over his interest in exchange for some money. Perhaps this can be paid over time or even give the son a mortgage where he will get paid when the house is sold or when mom passes away.  Either way, without his consent, the mom must seek court intervention.  

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

She's got some potential problems with this.  She'll need to talk to a lawyer in her area, and have all the facts reviewed, for reliable advice on what can be done, and how.  One place to look for qualified attorneys is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Unless she can get a court order making him do it, the woman will have to persuade or pay her son to sign a deed to her.  This might not be possible, or even advisable, if his name is also on the mortgage, unless she can refinance in her own name.  Unless the son has put nothing into the property, I suspect it might be very difficult to persuade a court to take away his interest, although the facts of the individual cases will have to be seen.


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