Inheriting Property

Dear Len & Rosie,

For 24 years I have lived with my mother. I have been her care giver for the past 14 years. I gave up a lot of my life and personal happiness for her. I am not sorry I did this. My sister told me that she did not want to take care of mom, and that I could have the house if I did. She lives in another state and rarely visits.

Mother gave me one-half of the home so that we could borrow against the property. We qualified for the loan on my salary and her equity, and spent almost $100,000 on repairs and improvements. I pay the mortgage payments, taxes and insurance. The home is now worth $400,000.

Now my sister complains that she is being cheated out of her fair share of the home when mom dies. My sister says that she feels that this is cruel and that she is being punished for "living her own life".

I have tried to explain to my sister that I have paid for the house and cared for mom, and that the house is my retirement investment. She doesn't accept this, and I know she is going to cause trouble when my mother dies.