Property Dispute Case Study

An elderly woman had placed her home in a joint trust, intending it to be co-owned by her daughter and son when she passed away. In her later years, the mother had incurred significant debt and the daughter convinced her to put the property in the daughter’s name for two years to shield the mother from creditors. The mother did so, while maintaining to her daughter that she ultimately wanted the home to re-convey to the joint trust. A year later, the mother asked her daughter to restore the property to the trust, but she didn’t take that action.

When the mother passed away, her son retained us to restore him as a co-owner on the property in accordance with his mother’s wishes. We wrote a demand letter to the daughter to quitclaim the property back to the joint trust. She refused.

When further communication and negotiation proved fruitless, we filed suit in Arapahoe County Court for quiet title, citing the daughter’s breach of fiduciary duty. The case went to trial, and given the evidence we presented that the mother had intended the property to be left to both of her children, the judge ruled in our client’s favor.