In 1968, my grandmother executed a Deed of Donation Inter Vivos of a residential lot, to my mother, which my mother accepted, signed and had notarized, but my mother did not proceed to secure Title to property. Grandmother did not want my parents to buy real property because of she is going to give the residential lot to my mother, thus she executed a Deed of Donation Inter Vivos.
My parents erected a house on this property in 1960 (we have lived with my grandmother since 1953 up to the present). Grandmother died in 1980. Both of my parents have also passed on, my father in 1986, and my mother in 2005.
In 1971, grandmother and aunt executed an Absolute Deed of Sale in return for my aunt's paying the real estate taxes when it became due, and my mother was not around to pay the taxes. When my mother went home to the province to pay my aunt for the taxes she paid, aunt told her that she already transferred the property to her name. My mother had no knowledge of this sale, nor has she signed any document relinquishing her ownership of the residential lot in question. Aunt secured a Title to the property. I don't know if aunt had previous knowledge of this Donation, or if grandmother had told her that she donated already her property to my mother, is a big question for me. If aunt had knowledge of the donation, how could she have my grandmother sell the property to her without my mother signing off her rights. I am sure there was no actual money involved. She just wants to have the property in her name for remembrance sake. Aunt proceeded to secure Title.
My parents have occupied the residential lot since 1953, and me and my sibling continue to do so up to the present. On the other hand, aunt, though she had title to it, never occupied nor had open and continuous possession of said property, because she had no intention of occupying it, and wanted us to stay there. She lives abroad.
In 2001, aunt returned half of the property to my mother by executing a Deed of Sale, (without money involved) and aunt still retained the other half. Our house spans the whole property.
It's been almost 43 years since aunt had ownership of the property, which she hasn't taken possession of, nor occupied it (not even for a day).
My questions, atty.
1. Was the Deed of Sale legal?
2. What is the prescribed period specified by law for the occupation and/or possession of a real property that has continued unopposed by the rightful owner, in order for the current occupant to secure ownership. Does this fall under adverse possession?
3. What legal actions do I take to correct this?
I need your advice on what to do as I am losing sleep on this problem and want very much to have the other half of the property returned to me, as the rightful heir of my mother.
Thank you so much.