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My husband died we were married 3 yrs gave me a 2 year life estate in his home. what are my rights? stepchild making it hard.

Murrieta, CA |

do I have to allow inventory of everything in house?

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Attorney answers 3


You only have a life estate so the trustees/executors have the right to inventory and routinely check on the condition of the house with proper notice, similar to what a landlord could do. If you are not comfortable and don't like the way they are behaving, perhaps you can come to an agreement with them to buy you out of the life estate for a sum of money and you could move out and live in more comfortable surroundings.


You are responsible for maintenance and insurance of the property and if taxed separately the property tax on the life estate.

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I agree with my colleagues. I would add two points. The life estate in the property entitles you to use of the property, but not necessarily to ownership of the contents. If you can prove that the items are yours, however, or if they were given to you in the Will, then they are not part of the estate. Secondly, you either have a right to remain in the home for 2 years, or you have a life estate. A life estate means you can reside in the home for the rest of your life. It does not mean you have 2 years to do so. Given that dramatic difference, it may be a good idea for you to consult with a probate lawyer to make sure that you are o the right track.

I am very sorry for your loss.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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