My grandfather gave my father his house but my father didn't want to put the house in his name because of child support so he put it in all 3 of his sisters names. When he found out child support couldn't take it he told them he wanted to put the house in his name but they claimed they couldn't get ahold of the 3rd sister. Well I lost my dad before he could take care of that. After the funeral 2 of my aunts took everything out of the house then tore down the walls inside the house and just really messed it up. Its been 10 years since I spoke with my aunts. I had no number, address, & no other way of contacting them. My younger brother and I were under age at the time of my fathers death. So how would I go about getting ownership of my fathers home? -need advice Eloy,Az
Family Law Attorney
This is an unfortunate situation where the law cannot help you regain possession. There are several reasons why, one being the length of time since your father's death and the original fact that the sisters never reconveyed title. This is a family issue that might be resolved through counseling or a family friend, but not through the courts.
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I agree with Attorney Reed. Your father was given bad advice and there was no way for him to undo what he had done. Your aunts can choose to do so, if they are willing to. Otherwise, I am afraid that you are out of luck.
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Real Estate Attorney
The direct answer to your question is that your father does not own the house legally, but that may not alter whether or not you have a claim through child support that may give you a way to seek title. If you are not the children that were owed child support, then this argument does not help you. To avoid a child support obligation, your father made sure that his name was never on title with the idea that his sisters would reconvey title to him at a later time. That is an illegal agreement and you may have a chance to get it unwound if you can get a litigation attorney that understands the interplay of real estate, probate, and illegal contracts to avoid responsibility for obligations like child support. You say that you have not spoken to your aunts in 10 years, but you do not say when your father died. It would also be important to know when you turned 18. I work with a good private investigator out of the Phoenix area that can probably locate your aunts. You need to discuss the specific facts of your situation with an attorney to determine what, if any, claims you may have on the house. Just remember, if you were not the children owed child support by your father, then this argument does not help you and you may have no claim to the property.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am licensed in Arizona and can only provide general comments on matters outside of Arizona law. Actual legal advice can only be provided after a direct consultation in which all of the relevant facts are considered before providing a response.
Estate Planning Attorney
Assuming your grandfather had such intent to have your sisters hold the property for your father's benefit (in a trust relationship) or your father had such an agreement with your sisters, the trust or the agreement that would generally have to be in writing because the subject matter involves real estate. Even so, it is unlikely that a court would uphold such an agreement because such a ruling would be tantamount to encouraging child support fraud.
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