What can i do if a house is in me and my stepmothers name. she avoids contact with me and has been living there for 21 years?

Asked over 2 years ago - Missouri City, TX

She has stayed there since my father died. She stays there with her boyfriend. I've been struggling for a long time and would like know what my options are regarding getting compensated for the house. I dont want the house but i'm afraid she will try to sell it without my knowledge. i just recently found out my name was on the house.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Mitsy Barajas

    Contributor Level 4

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . You have a right to half of the house so she needs to pay you rent or the house needs to be sold and you can get your half of the money. You can contact her directly or have an attorney contact her for you.

    The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. The reader should not consider this information to... more
  2. Orsen E. Paxton III

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your step-mother has a right to live in the house until her death. If your father died without a Will, then you (and your siblings) own at least a part of the house. You do not state whether or not the house was bought while your father was married to your step-mother or if he owned it before he married her. The answer to that will determine how much of it you own. You need to consult an attorney experienced in probate. You may have several options. It is important that you pursue this soon.

    DISCLAIMER: This is not specific legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.
  3. Jody Lynn Peskin

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I do not practice in your state so I suggest you speak to an attorney there who may be able to offer more options, especially on learning all fo the details. But if she won't communicate with you, you should hire an attorney to send her a letter to attempt to come up with a resolution, for rent or to buy out your interest. If she still won't work with you , your attorney can file a lawsuit for partition, to ask the court to require the house be sold and the profits (if any) be divided. If she claims she made mortgage payments and paid taxes and you didn't, in order to get a greater share of the profits, you can claim that she had the benefit of living there and deprived you of the rent money you could have been receiving all those years. If you think an attorney is too expensive, please reconsider, since you're dealing with teh value of a house, which, if done correctly, should net you some income and if done incorrectly, could have you losing a lot of money. Good luck.

    This is not intended to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. If more information is needed,... more
  4. David E Ledyard

    Contributor Level 12

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should consult with a probate lawyer in your area as soon as possible to determine what your rights are. I don't practice in your state so I can't advise you. The lawyer will need to determine if your step-mother holds a life estate which would allow her to live there until she dies or abandons the property or whether you and your step-mother are joint owners which would enable you to go into court and force a sale of the property. If you are joint owners the Court would have to determine whether your step-mother has invested mortgage payments or tax payments or other upkeep of the property that she should be reimbursed for. The Court should in such a case determine the rental value of her possession of the property and deduct it from any such reimbursement.

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