Can someone demand payment for a house that was gifted 2 years ago?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can someone demand payment for a house that was gifted 2 years ago?

My father put his home in my sister’s name while he was in jail. Once he came home, he and I came to an agreement for me to buy the house. We went to a real estate agent and my sister gifted me the house and put the deed in my name. Now, 2 years later, my father has passed away and my sister is trying to get me to give her half of what the house is worth. Is that legal?

Asked on June 8, 2016 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, once something is gifted, that gift may not be revoked, or compensation sought for it after the fact. If something was gifted to you, you don't have to pay for it unless you want to. The time for your sister to ask for money for the house was before she gave it to you. That's the law. Practically, bear in mind that if she is prepared to lie, your sister can file a lawsuit claiming there was an agreement to pay her for the house and you reneged. Without written documentation, she is not likely to win, but you can't rule out her winning, if she does this and is very persuasive and/or creates credible fake documentation. So while the law is on your side, bear in mind that you could potentially face a lawsuit that you'd have to take seriously and defend against.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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