Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in South Carolina

I have owned my home since 1995 when my parents passed away. My father's >> will stated I was to get a home with my inheritance, and my brother was to >> be trustee. The home is not to go in my name alone until I'm 52 yrs old. I >> am 47 now. I got married and my husband talked my brother (trustee) into >> putting his name on the deed. Later we got divorced and my husband (ex) >> tried to take my home but my father's will kept that from happening. My >> ex's lawyer asked the judge if I would set my home as a life estate for my >> children whom my ex has custody of. I didn't have a lawyer , the judge >> explained what a life estate was and I thought it would be good for my >> children to agree. The judge didn't explain the disadvantage's of a life >> estate like now I want to sell my home but can't unless he agrees to go off >> the deed. My divorce was in 2008. I started drawing disability based on >> mental a month after we had been in court and I agreed to life estate. >> Disability went back to 1998 and declared me mentally disabled. I'm >> wondering if I could get this life estate off of my home based on I was >> mentally disabled at the time of my divorce and clearly didn't understand >> exactly what I was agreeing to with life estate. I was incompitent or >> whatever the word you use for not understanding what I agreed to. My >> brother is like I said trustee over my home and he is also my authorized >> payee over my disability. Thank you for your help

Asked on 6/11/13, 2:37 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Barbara Strowd Barbara A. Strowd, Attorney at Law

I am sorry to hear about the situation you are currently in. Generally, you have 30 days to appeal a decision of the Court. It has been 5 years since your court hearing. I do not think you will be able to have the decision changed based upon you not understanding. You may be able to have the terms changed by agreement of the parties. If your Divorce Decree says you must leave the home to your children with the exception of a life estate for you, then if you ex would sign a Consent Order Modifying the Agreement removing that requirement, you would no longer be required to have the children on the deed in the Family Court. This is only 1/2 of your battle though. Next you must get the children to sign over their interest in the home to you. I hope this helped. Please meet with a local attorney to discuss your options.

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Answered on 7/12/13, 3:31 pm

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