If my mother signed the deed to my sister I before she passed, and I have been paying the property taxes for 18 years, who owns the house,

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If my mother signed the deed to my sister I before she passed, and I have been paying the property taxes for 18 years, who owns the house,

My mother signed the deed to my sister I and
passed away in 2001.
I have paid the property taxes every year since
2001 and my sister now retained an attorney and
tried to file probate on the house even though
the deed was signed by our mother.

Asked on February 10, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Your sister owns it: you write that the deed was signed over to her; that makes her the owner. Paying the property does not give you any rights or ownership over the house unless there had been some written contract stating that in exchange for paying the taxes, you would get an ownership interest. Paying taxes without an agreement to that effect gives you no rights.


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