Legal Question in Real Estate Law in New York

Before my mother passed away, my sister had a Quit Claim Deed drawn up regarding my mother's house. This stated that the house was to be placed in my name, however, upon my mother's death, it states, "a reasonable attempt to sell the house quickly, must be made, & the profits from the sale are to be split among her three heirs".

I have been living in the home for the past 12 years, & was the one taking care of my mother. My sister had us sign this form, under duress, & I did not realize that it would force me to move from my home, having nowhere else to live. I did place the house for sale, signing a 6 month contract with a real estate agent, under which the house did not sell. The wording in this quit claim deed is very vague, stating the house must sell "quickly" after a reasonable attempt. I wish to stay in my home, & not sell at this point. Does the vague wording in this deed enforce any type of timeline for the sale of the home, or am I able to live there for an indefinite amount of time? Can they force me to sell after I made a reasonable attempt?

Asked on 7/16/18, 2:34 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Richard Bryan Richard Bryan Attorney PC

The language that your sister has in the Quit Claim Deed was almost certainly NOT done by a lawyer. It is void and invalid. The process stated in the deed, that "the house should be sold and the proceeds divided 3 ways . . ." is accomplished by a Last Will and Testament, not by deed. Your sister created a real mess here and it's going to cost your family a lot of time and money to get this straightened out. And no one is going to buy the house anyway because the "deed" is invalid; no title insurance company is going to insure title, because the deed is not valid. This is a mess, for sure. Someone in your family has to step up and see a lawyer to have mom's estate administered through the Surrogate's court. Unfortunately the end result is you'll have to move anyway. Although you were taking care of mom and living there for 12 years, that doesn't give you anymore rights to own and live in the house.

Good luck.

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Answered on 7/17/18, 7:35 am

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