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Back in the '70-'80's I worked in the Family business(Landscape co.&Rehab of rental prop)I received no consideration in exchange

Cohasset, MA |

for my work, only an oral agreement made by both of us that I would receive 1 specific bldg.(and other property) as we worked together on building the co.Recently he has announced that I will get nothing but the one house we bought in the '70's and only cause I was on the deed.

Now he has given away 8 houses to the granchildren & my sister,who is so manipulative and, with a nephew ,wields incredible undue influence to benefit her, her children and nephew.So far Dad has also bought them cars(BMW,New Mustang,etc.)and God only knows how much money.He is in his 80's but my 22yro nephew,who lives with him is jointly on all his accts..He chose 2 waterfront property's(worth $1 mil.+)which were never meant for him.There's much more to this case. Do I have a valid claim.WhereCanITurn?

Something happened with my post as the whole middle was suddenly deleted.Dads got 5 Grandkids and the nephew who got a beemer at age 18 was taking and selling drugs(still).The other nephew had my father rehab his(nephew's) waterfront house so when he died he would'nt have a POS house to live in.His name is on every acct. and does not need my fathers sig to access funds at his whim but they all treat him awful.I busted my ass for almost 20 yrs. for nothing but a promise and herniated discs,athritis and almost lost a finger to a lawnmower cause "it took to long to stop the machine to empty the bag." I'd like to know if I can sue for breach of contract

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Filed under: Real estate
Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

A lot of difficulties here with the passage of time/statute of limitations and the fact that this agreement was not in writing. The best argument might be a constructive trust but I'd have to research if there is not a limitations problem there too. We have a number of fine lawyers within Cohasset who may be able to give guidance within an initial free consultation.

To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.


You said that you have no proof of the promise. Unless there is a third party who can corroborate what you have to say or your father agrees that is what happened, it's going to be a steep uphill climb.

If your father is competent, he can give his assets to whoever he pleases while he is alive and dead. If you think your father is not competent, then you need to consider filing for conservatorship or calling Elder Protective Services.

E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.



DO you mean someone that actually heard him speak the promise?Or that it was common knowledge by other extended family.Would catching him in a lie decrease his credibility and help my claim.Is proof that I bought a house with him(with me on the deed) while accumulating property help in any way?Thanks for your time.

E. Alexandra Golden

E. Alexandra Golden


This is getting more complex than can or should be handled in a public forum. I suggest you see a local attorney who does probate litigation for a proper review of all the facts.


You really need to sit down with an attorney and go through all the facts. This is complicated and sounds like there is a substantial amount of money involved. Are there any documents that support your claim? How much did you work and how is it you were not compensated at all? Feel free to call me tomorrow.

My responding to your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. Also, please keep in mind that I am responding based solely on the information in your question and am most likely doing so from my iPhone and while out of the office. If you want to contact me, feel free to call me at 617-426-7400 or email


I agree with Attorney Golden. Without proof, it is going to be very difficult to show your are entitled to any property. Even with proof of the actual promise, oral agreements to transfer real estate are extremely frowned upon and only given validity with substantial proof.

If you have any proof (corroborating witnesses, documents showing your father's intent even though he never followed through, etc.), talk to an attorney. S/he will be able to give his/her opinion on whether you have a case.


yes, the advice is correct. you need to sit down with a lawyer and discuss the specific facts, look for witnesses and documents that support your agreement and get prepared .