I have been taking care of my elderly mom who has dementia the past three years basically with no help from siblings. I live with my mom . She transferred the house to me. We did a life estate. I am now listed as the owner of the home. However many years ago my mother made a will and had the house being shared among her three children. Now my question is if I am paying all the bills and the property taxes on this house and living there and taking care of my mom do I have to divide the house equally when it's sold even if I am listed on the deed as owner. My siblings keep talking about their share of the house and it makes me crazy since they refuse to help take care of our mother with me.

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    Find a lawyer who can examine the life estate and older will. You may want to Google for free legal aid in your city/state.. Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


A deed executed during life trumps a will. The other siblings would have to argue:

  • Your mom did not have the capacity to execute the deed (which is a very low standard in terms of her capacity).

  • The deed was procured from undue influence from you (which requires them to meet a high bar of proof).

  • The deed was really the implementation of an agreement for you to hold the property in trust for everyone (which requires some affirmative evidence of this intent).

  • It could conceivably be argued that the transfer was OP receiving his inheritance early, so he keeps the house but receives (probably) nothing else. Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 18:54
  • @TimLymington Perhaps. Such a transfer is called an "advance".
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 21:03

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