My husband and mother-in-law's name was on the property and house until she filed bankrupt about 10 years ago. The house and property is in me and my husband's name. Ten years ago we signed a survivorship deed so that she could still have rights to the house. For the last 8 months she has not been paying rent or utilities which is creating problems. We want to do away with the survivorship deed. Does she have to sign off on it or can we just have it done?
Your mother-in-law, being a titled owner in the house, must sign a deed (quit-claim deed) in favor of you and/or your husband in order to divest her of title to the real estate.
When you put her name on the deed, she bacame a part owner. Even if it waas a "gift" it's her's (she owns an undivided whole of the property--Lawyer talk for she has as much right to be there as you, including not paying rent).
If the question is, "she isn't being cooperative, can we just undo what was done?" the answer is no it's her's until she dies and you can't get her out--unless she cooperates. To get it back (assuming that she is cooperating) she would sign a deed, usually quitclaim, reconveying it to your and your husband. This can be a new survivorship deed or not, whatever you want, but she has to participate.
You should check Avvo's Find a Lawyer for a local Real Estae lawyer to help you with this problem, whether it is trying to get her to pay her share or draft a new deed. You didn't need to sign a deed to give her "rights" in the property, if those rights were to live there. THAT should have been done with a lease and an obligation to pay for rent, utliities and maybe maintenance.
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