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If I Gifted My Property to My Daughter Without Getting the Deed Notarized, Can I Get It Back?

  • August 27th, 2013
We added one of my children to the deed on our property via a quitclaim deed. We signed at home with no witnesses or notary. My husband died in 2006 of cancer. I want to sell the farm and move, but my daughter wants it all. Do I have any recourse to get my farm back? I will sell it to her, but she says it is already hers.

You may or may not have recourse against your daughter. Clearly, putting your daughter's name on the deed gives her an ownership interest. But the fact that there was no notary may make the deed invalid depending on your state's law. In addition, I don't know why your daughter's name was added to the deed, but there may be an argument that she is supposed to be acting as trustee for you. The problem with this approach is that it will be your word against hers and your husband is no longer here to testify. Finally, if all else fails, there is an action called "partition" which would allow you to force the sale of the property, but you would have to split the proceeds with your daughter. I recommend that you consult with a local attorney to determine what is possible in your case in your state. This is certainly an object lesson in what a big step it is to change the ownership of real estate and why getting professional counsel can help avoid a big mistake.

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Judith Mitnick

Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
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Last Modified: 08/27/2013

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