Areas of Law / Wills and Probate

My elderly father gave me the deeds to his house some time ago, saying that when he died he wanted me to have the property. He has now changed his mind, and says he wants the house to be shared between his family. Do I have to return the deeds?

I’m afraid so. In any case, unless the house was actually transferred into your name your possession of the deeds meant nothing; unlike most contracts, contracts to transfer land must be in writing. However if you happen to be an only child and your mother is no longer alive you may still get the house if your father hasn’t made a will (why else would he have made the gesture of handing you the deeds?); more distant members of the family won’t inherit under intestacy laws.

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