She left me one yr after name was added, she hasnt been around for another yr, I have paid all bills on my own, she refuses to sign name off deed, Mtg is in my name. When she left I gave her everything she asked for AND had to file bankruptcy on $20,000 of CC's & she VERBALLY AGREED to remove name from deed in return! Is there ANYTHING I can do? Does she still have joint tennancy rights when she has not lived there, nor paid ANYTHING in the home for a yr? Is it possible to add my sister on the deed, transfering MY HALF of the home to her in the event of my death W/OUT her approval? ANY HELP at all would be appreciated. She was ONLY Interested in my home & manipulated me to believe she would NEVER do this to me...and my worst fears are happening.There HAS to be SOMETHING I CAN DO! PLEASE!!
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Yes she still has rights. Typically you would have to file a Petition to "Partition" the property, which is a legal proceeding asking the Court to order the property sold which is the only way to force her off the title. The proceeds would ordinarily be split equally, however you may be able to argue that you should receive a greater share given the expenses you've paid. As for leaving your interest to your sister, you should consult with a real estate and/or probate attorney in your State, but you should be able to convey your interest to a revocable living trust naming your sister as beneficiary upon your death. The conveyance will break the unity of title and create a tenancy in common. See a lawyer before you do anything.
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Family Law Attorney
I agree with Atty. Gramer. By adding her, you've created a real mess for yourself. A partition is the only likely course, but the property will be sold and you'll start over elsewhere. In a partition sale, you are likely going to pay a higher commission (realtor + a court commissioner). You don't need to split the proceeds with her 50-50, because during the partition case you can establish thru your records your greater contribution to maintaining the property financially. Another long shot is to go to court to establish a constructive trust over her share, but that's a long shot. Speak to a local real estate attorney, but short of negotiating with her to sign off, you are up a creek without a paddle, unfortunately. With this and your bankruptcy due to paying her bills and having nothing in writing, you have learned a very hard lesson.
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As both attorneys mention, you have placed yourself in a horrible situation. Get a real estates attorney to bring a partition action. Get with him immediately.
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