If I’ve been living in my late mother’s house and paid taxes on it, I that enough to let me get the house in my name?

My mother’s Will states that the house is to be sold and proceeds divided between children and grandchildren, a total of 9 people. She passed away 7 years ago and so did my father. I have been living in the home for the last 3 years and have been paying county and town property taxes owed for 9 years; I am within $1000 of having them paid up current. I want to keep the house which is worth only $50,000-60,000. Is my paying taxes enough for me to get house in my name? If not can I do it under adverse possession?

Asked on July 18, 2015 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  No, paying the taxes is not enough and adverse possession priciples would not apply here (and it is 20 years in your state anyway). If you wish to buy out your siblings that is an option.  I would seek help in your area structuring the deal. If you have been living there free of rent and paying the taxes it can be argued that paying the taxes are a form of rent. Good luck.

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