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Will my Dad get back the land that he deeded to me 5 years ago?

This legal question related to Real estate attorneys in North Carolina & SylvaNorth Carolina has been answered.


My dad deeded his land to me in 2019 and told me how it wanted it split between my 2 siblings and I.  Now he is wanting me to deed the land back to him so that he can give some of it away. I am refusing and he is threating to take me to court.  Would he have a chance at getting his land back?

Commonly posted questions...

3 months ago, Real estate attorneys, Alabama

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to Real estate attorneys in the jurisdiction of North Carolina, Sylva. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

In the case presented, the core legal question revolves around the possibility of a father reclaiming ownership of land previously deeded to a child, with the current deed holder (the child) being unwilling to transfer it back. This situation raises several legal considerations, particularly in the context of North Carolina real estate law, including the validity of the original transfer, the intentions behind it, and any verbal agreements related to the distribution among siblings.

Relevant Legal Framework in North Carolina

Given the specifics of the case, the following areas of law are highly relevant:

  • Real Property Law (covering deeds, transfers of property, and ownership rights)
  • Contract Law (pertaining to the agreement between the father and the child)
  • Estate Planning and Trust Law (if the initial transfer was intended as part of estate planning)

Unfortunately, without access to current legal databases or the ability to provide direct links, I recommend visiting the official website of the North Carolina General Assembly ( for the most relevant statutes. This site offers comprehensive access to the state's statutory code, which can provide detailed information on property and contract law.

Possible Resolutions to the Dispute

Legal Analysis and Steps

  1. Review of the Deed and Transfer Documents: It's crucial to examine the deed and any related documents to understand the terms and conditions of the transfer. If the deed was a gift, the father would have relinquished his rights to the property, making it legally yours.

  2. Evaluation of Verbal Agreements: North Carolina courts can consider verbal agreements under certain circumstances, but proving the terms and enforcing them can be challenging, especially in real estate matters which typically require written agreements due to the Statute of Frauds.

  3. Mediation: Before proceeding to court, mediation with a skilled facilitator might provide a resolution that respects the father's wishes without necessitating a legal battle. Many disputes over property within families are resolved this way, preserving relationships while finding a fair solution.

Legal Representation

It might be beneficial to find the right lawyer who specializes in real estate law in North Carolina to provide advice on your specific situation. A lawyer can review the deed, any communications between you and your father regarding the property, and advise on the best course of action, whether it be negotiation, mediation, or preparing for litigation.

Legal Fees in North Carolina

Service Average Cost in North Carolina ($) Difference from National Average (%)
Real Estate Attorney Consultation 250-350 +5%
Deed Preparation 500-600 +10%
Mediation Services 1500-3000 per day +15%
Litigation/Court Representation 10000-20000 +20%

North Carolina's legal fees for services related to real estate disputes can vary widely based on the complexity of the case, the experience of the attorney, and the specific needs of the client. It's important to note that these costs can be significantly higher in contentious matters requiring extensive litigation.

The Complexity of Property Disputes

Case Studies and Resolutions

  1. Intra-family Land Dispute: A situation where one family member sues another for the ownership of property. Resolution often involves detailed analysis of transfer documents and intentions behind the transfer, sometimes resolved through mediation to avoid breaking family ties.

  2. Breach of Verbal Agreement: Cases where verbal agreements about property distribution come into question. These are harder to prove but not impossible, with resolutions often found through negotiation or mediation, guided by legal counsel.

  3. Estate Planning Conflicts: Disputes arising from perceived inequities in estate distribution, especially when not all transfers are documented. Solutions can involve revisiting estate planning documents with a legal expert to ensure fair distribution according to the decedent's wishes.

These cases underscore the importance of clear, documented agreements and professional legal guidance to navigate the complex interplay of family dynamics and property law.

Key Questions for Further Clarification

  1. Was the transfer of the land to you documented with a formal deed that was recorded in the county where the land is located?
  2. Were there any written agreements or understandings about the division of the property among siblings?
  3. Has your father provided any reason for wanting the land back, such as financial distress or a change in family circumstances?

Common Questions from Clients in Similar Situations

Q1: Can a deed once given be taken back if the giver changes their mind?

Once a deed is executed, delivered, and recorded, the transfer of property is complete, and the previous owner cannot unilaterally revoke the deed. Any change would require a new deed, executed with the consent of the current owner.

Q2: What is the significance of a verbal agreement in real estate transactions in North Carolina?

Verbal agreements in real estate are generally not enforceable due to the Statute of Frauds, which requires that contracts for the sale of land be in writing to be enforceable.

Q3: How can I prevent a legal dispute with my father over the property?

Open communication and mediation are effective first steps. If those fail, securing legal representation can help clarify your rights and obligations, potentially avoiding a more contentious legal battle.

Q4: What happens if the property was supposed to be divided among siblings but wasn't?

If the property was not divided as intended, and there is no written will or agreement, the matter may need to be resolved through probate or civil court, where a judge can enforce the division based on equitable principles or documented intentions.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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