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What is the time limit for contesting a suspicious Grant Deed?

San Diego, CA |

My mother recently died. I just discovered a record on-line of a Grant Deed in my sister's name (dated 16 months ago), for a house that was my mothers for 50-some years. Since my mother was very ill for the past two years (and her will states that the property is hers alone, and to be divided among three siblings), we suspect that my sister had undue influence on her.

What are the time-lines involved in challenging a Grant Deed, and what court would we file in (Probate/Civil)? Thank you!

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

If you believe financial abuse of the elderly took place (see, Welfare & Institutions Code sec. 15657 et seq) you have four years from discovery of the abuse.(W&I 15657.7). Since your mother had a will, the named executor should probate the will, and seek recovery of the property under Probate Code sec. 850. The two statutes are not mutually exclusive and can be used in conjunction with each other. Find a good attorney who specializes in probate/trust litigation and elder abuse for more specific analysis.

Good luck.

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Posted

Probate Code Section 21360 and following provide that under certain circumstances a transfer made as result of undue influence can be deemed to be void. I suggest that you and your siblings retain counsel and determine what your rights are.

DISCLAIMER: The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship or any right of confidentiality between you and the responding attorney. These responses are intended only to provide general information about perceived legal issues within the question. Each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.

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The linchpin to be determined here is your mother's intent at time of the conveyance to your sister. You have to find out from your mother's treating physician, her state of mind and competence. The determining factor is your mother's medical record at the time of conveyance. Edward C. Ip www.lawyer4property.com

No attorney / client relationship established. The answr is for discussion and general information only. The lawyer had not reviewed any documents or contract prior to the above comments.

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It is really important that you act swiftly to contact and discuss your case with a knowledgeable probate litigation attorney. Since your mother died recently, her medical records and witness testimony concerning her mental state and mental capacity will be available for discovery. Witness recollections fade rapidly. If your mother had a treating physician during the last two or three years of her life, your attorney might want to start with an interview of that physician. Also gather together all of your mother's estate planning documents so the attorney can examine them. Your attorney will proceed if he or she believes that you have a reasonable chance of winning.

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