Can my father gift 2 acres of land that we both own without my signature?

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Can my father gift 2 acres of land that we both own without my signature?

My father signed a paper gifting 2 acres of land to my brother so his wife would not be deported. At the time neither one was working and they were living with him. They then moved to her homeland and lived for 6 years. Now they are back and want the money for the land. My name and my fathers are both on the deed to the property. Can he really do that even if I do not agree? I had to pay for the land and I feel like my brother should buy it if he wants it. He doesn’t even want it, just the money for it.

Asked on January 6, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Sounds like your brother may have a valid gift but that would depend on how anything has been registered with the state registry of deeds. Even if your father gifted his portion (depending on how you own the property), you are still an owner and do not have to give your brother any money. What your father did was wrong but may not be entirely illegal. Depending on what your state recognizes (race, race-notice or notice), if your brother simply has a piece of paper but did not register it, then your brother may not have clear title. Further, if your father did not give your brother any sort of quit claim deed or transfer the title legally by registering the gift, it may not be recognized. Time to either talk to an attorney after you investigate with the registry of deeds and then time to talk to your father. Here is the problem, if you paid in and wish to do anything about it, you are still owed money and can probably sue your father and brother for reimbursement. Unfortunately, it is not going to be an easy case but the big issue here is gifting property would not have prevented your brother's wife from being deported. The reason for the transfer would need to be investigated just as much as the technical registration issues and property transfers.


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