Can sellers family contest a home sale which occurred prior to the death, after the seller dies

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Can sellers family contest a home sale which occurred prior to the death, after the seller dies

Uncle sells niece his house for 1/2 the value. The brother and sister-in-law of the uncle are angry and threatened legal action against the niece. The uncle is terminally ill but is not mentally incapacitated. Is there any legal recourse for the brother and sister-in-law to contest the sale after its all closed?

Asked on November 1, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

They can try to challenge it, since they can't be prevented from bringing a legal challenge. But to win the challenge, they would have to prove in court, based on admissible (e.g. nonhearsay) evidence and testimony, one or more of the following:
1) The uncle was in fact mentally incapacitated when he made the sale--if not due to injury or illness, possibly due to medication he was on.
2) The niece coerced, or used illegal threats, to get the uncle to sell it to her for that price.
3) The niece was in such a position of power over the uncle--such as being his primary live-in caregiver--that she possessed "undo influence" over him and he could not resiste her demand for the sale.
4) The sale was based on fraud: e.g. the niece lied to the uncle about something material or important which caused him to sell to her.
5) The paperwork was forged or otherwise legally deficient.
Otherwise, the sale would be valid and stand.


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