Can my husband’s sister take away our property if it was gifted to him in a divorce decree by his parents?

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Can my husband’s sister take away our property if it was gifted to him in a divorce decree by his parents?

Both are deceased now and even tho they gifted him, he’s been living and paying the taxes on our property for over 30 years. We found out that no deed was recorded and now the sister is claiming it to be half hers.

Asked on December 6, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This is going to be a contentious issue. A divorce decree doesn't really gift a property. The property would either be awarded to either parent and then bequeathed through a will or trust.  If the property deed was not recorded, the issue will be whether your husband has gained the right to the property through adverse possession or if your state will allow him to record now and be the owner.  You should immediately speak to a land use attorney in your state to review the order of succession of bequest and title.


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