What should I do if my father is trying to claim repayment for a gift?

UPDATED: Jun 4, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 4, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What should I do if my father is trying to claim repayment for a gift?

My father gave me 10k when I bought a house. He also gave me a bunch of tools that he no longer wanted. A local law firm wrote me a letter seeking to recover the “loan” amount and personal items. I supposedly have 10 business days to contact the law firm, else they claim “they have been authorized to initiate legal proceedings against me”. How should I proceed?

Asked on June 4, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all was there any expectation of repayment? Just because your father claims that the $10,000 was a loan doesn't automatically make is true. You say that he "gave me" the money when you bought your house. If you also got a mortgage the bank would have wanted to know where the $10,000 came from. So possibly a "gift letter" was written and signed by your father.  If not, was there at least a note or other legally binding agreement settingout the terms of repayment and interest rate, etc.? Were there any witnesses to the transaction other than you or your father? The fact is that if there is no evidence that this money was a loan the law will presume it to be a gift. The same holds true for the miscellaneous tools.

At this point, you may want to speak directly with an attorney as to how best to proceed from here. Paying for an hour or so consultation may well be worth it. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption