How can my Mother get property back that she signed over to my brother?

My Mother signed numerous properties over to my brother when my Father passed in 2005. She did this to protect property from any potential outstanding medical bills or funeral expenses for my Father. My Mother retained lifetime estate at our family’s home place, and she has continued to pay the taxes on all properties. She now wants the properties signed back over to her. My brother is refusing to do so. My brother has made no repairs on the house. My Mother wants the properties back so she can sell one parcel of land to make repairs on her home. What can we do? I am my Mother’s power of attorney. Thanks.

Asked on July 26, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If she freely signed the property over to your brother and was of sound mind when she did so, then she has no recourse. He is the legally recognized owner. This is true no matter who has paid the taxes and whether or not the property is being maintained.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You and she cannot do anything: if she "signed them over" to your brother--that is, put title in his name--they are his properties now; he is under no obligation to return them, and that she paid the taxes or that he has not made repairs does not force him to give up his ownership. Your mother essentially gave away her property in an attempt to protect form creditors; this--no longer owning or having control over them--is the consequence of that.

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