Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in South Dakota

real estate laws

My father died in 1974. My mother had lifetime estate on the farm, homesteaded by my fathers family until her death in 1981. I, being the only son, stayed on the farm and cared for my mother and took care of the farming while my sisters attended college. A verbal agreement was made that as long as I paid the taxes, my family and I could stay here. I have paid the taxes and made many costly improvements and now my sisters want to split the farm three ways. Is there anything I can do to keep this farm intact?

Asked on 8/11/08, 2:42 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Monte Schatz Attorney at law

Re: real estate laws

You should consult with your own attorney. My initial impression based upon what you have described is that you really have little basis to claim you can stay on the farm and avoid it being divided. It is highly unusual for a court to enforce a verbal contract on real estate.

However, you may be able to claim some reimbursement for improvements. I think you should consider negotiating that with your sisters if that is possible.

Also, would your sisters consider granting a life estate to you if that is inerest of to you?

Good luck!

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Answered on 8/11/08, 9:59 am

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