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How do I get my inheritance back

Spokane, WA |

Some years ago I had to retire due to physical disabilities and do receive SSDI benefits. I had some monthly inheritance coming I was erroneously told at the time would interfere w/my SSDI so I put it in my son's name, now found out its ok to have it. I am 70 and totally disabled, live alone and want my inheritance back but now my son refuses to sign the deed to give it back! How can I get it back? He is getting it and keeping it and its mine before he was ever born, he knows why I put it in his name and now for some craziness thinks its his and won't sign the deed I need signed to get it back. What can I do to stop him from receiving this and somehow get it back to me. I worked all my life still my SSDI is not that much and I really need MY inheritance back now. Am so disappointed in him

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Attorney answers 5


I am very sorry for your circumstances. Unfortunately, it appears that you have made an irrevocable transfer to your son and he is legally entitled not to give the inheritance back. You may wish to consult with an attorney regarding the circumstances of the transfer to see if something can be done. Good luck to you.

This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.


It appears you made an irrevocable gift and most liklely will not prevail in a court proceeding to get your property back. You could argue a "mistake" theory but have very limited chances of success.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


I'm so sorry to hear this. Like the other attorneys have said, it may be very difficult to get it back. However, you mentioned that you were "erroneously told at the time" that you should give it to your son. Was it an attorney who told you to do that? If that is the case, you may have a legal malpractice claim.

Either way you wish to proceed, you would most likely benefit from the advice of a good attorney.

This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information, please visit


Most of the prior answers are right on point. I would only add to be very careful in alleging it wasn't really a gift but was transferred to avoid losing eligibility in any federal program or to avoid tax consequences, because under certain circumstances that can be illegal and can carry serious consequences of its own. Certainly be doubly cautious in posting anything describing your motives in a public forum, and certainly consult with an attorney who can confidentially review your alternatives.

I only practice in Washington State and may not practice in your area. This answer is a brief hopefully helpful tip to you which is correct to the best of my knowledge and is meant as a starting point for you to conduct further investigation. However, it is made without knowing the factual details of your case or doing any legal research and so may be in error as to either the facts or law. I am not your attorney and I am not giving a legal opinion by this answer.


I agree with my colleagues. Your summary highlights the importance of getting legal advice BEFORE you take action that would likely be irreversible. One thing that you CAN do is to make sure that your estate planning is current and complete. You will want to consider leaving any other assets to someone other than your son, because it would appear that he has taken an "advancement" on his inheritance. You also want to consider naming someone else to make financial and medical decisions for you, in the event that you become incapacitated. You may not be able to undo what was previously done. But you have the right and the ability to make arrangements for the future. This should all be done properly through an attorney, of course. It should not be expensive.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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