In 2010 my husband received a letter from the state auditors office stating he needed to pay some property taxes, there was also another name on the letter as well as my husbands name. My husband and I thought someone had left this land to him, so he went and paid the taxes. In 2011 we got a deed with our names on it and hired a lawyer for this. The lawyer found out that the original owner had the same name and last name of my husband and it was not him. So the lawyer contacted the sheriff office and the auditor in the county but he informed us that he had not heard back from them and to keep paying the taxes. In 2015 I hired him again to try to straighten out this issue and he informed us we would have to file for a quite tittle and run the property in the newspaper for a month. Fast-forward to 2017 I have talked to a new lawyer because the old lawyer had legal issues himself. The new lawyer has informed us there was a will left from the original owner with my husbands name and he left the land to his daughter. So my question is this, do we have any legal right to this land after all these years of paying taxes and having a deed for it?? If not can we get our money back?
Quite a confusing story. Who did you get the deed from in 2011? And was your husband or the guy with the same name the intended grantee? And when did this "owner" die? Without needing to get your answers, IF it is the "owner" who gave the deed to your husband in 2011, and that was a legitimate and intended transaction, and assuming the "owner" granted that deed and thus did so before his death, the deed wins out over the will. The will can only pass what the deceased still owned at death. If the 2011 deed was a case of mistaken identity, I don't think your husband wins that one, and yes, I would think in equity he'd get his money back. All turns on this deed and its legitimacy.
To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state (in WV, on inactive status as of 9/13), 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.
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