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Can we sue for Verbal breach of contracts I do have witnesses that this contract was made, I've kept my end of the bargain .

San Antonio, TX |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

20+ yrs ago my father promised if I took care of him & my mom he would leave me the house once they passed. He did this because he could not afford to support him & mom. I paid taxes on the house, furnished the house completely, paid for their car insurance, cell phone bills, food, all utilities, moms clothes, health insurance premiums & copays, even made repairs to the house. Now he selling the house because my parents are divorcing. Two of my sisters who were witness to this contract wrote a letter to the judge asking how this house could be sold if it was supposed to be given to me but it was never used. I no longer make the money I used to but it is still enough to pay bills but can't afford to retain an attorney so I am trying to file a civil suit on my own if possible. Pls help

Also I can prove I maintained the house and purchased all the property, all the property in the home has already been deemed my sole and separate property in the first hearing which he tried to fight me for. I can also prove I paid all bills and even had home owners insurance under my name. I can even prove I paid for his cell phone and car insurance premiums. For 5 years my insurance rates for 2k a year because of the 5 accidents he was involved with so they raised my premiums. I am now on disability and make just enough to to pay the bills, I had to pull my son out of private school. Also if I wouldn't have supported my parents for all these years, I would have owned my own home now because I would've lived in a better school district and would not have needed to pay for private school. I can not afford an attorney due to my limited income so I wanted to try and sue him in civil court or district court on my own. I am hoping and praying someone help me. I am afford of my son and I being homeless.

Attorney Answers 2


Your claim is for Promissory estopple (Detrimental Reliance). You entered into a contract and have so far, fulfilled your end of the bargain to your detriment relied on him holiding up his end of the bargain.

He can argue that the statute of frauds prevents this kind of contract, and a change in circumstances. It may be that one of a few solutions occurs.

1. The house is sold, a portion of the proceeds is set aside for the life-estate of your mother and father and split between them in the divorce. You get the rest.
2. You get a court ordered remainder interest and your father and mother get their life estate in the home. Which they can sell, rent or otherwise.

A practical solution would be for you to move into the home with your mother & son and you to pay rent for your father in his own apartment. Except for moving this leaves you in about the same position you currently are. To accompany this, your parents should deed the property to you and your mother as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, or as co-tenants with her cotenancy being a life estate and the remainder going to you.

Every legal matter is fact specific, and there are often nuances in every case. This is intended for comment only, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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I think you would have some problems with a breach of contract claim. Maybe you should look into a "quantum meruit" claim. Good luck!

P.S. You cannot give away anything when you are dead unless you executed a valid will before you died. And only things you own at your dead can be given away in the will. And you can change your will at anytime before you die. (If you don't have a will, you have no control over who gets your property.) The point is, when people promise to give you something when they die, you should be very skeptical.

I hope this information answers your question. If you need more information, simply add a comment or call me. Good luck!

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