Can my mom’s boyfriend inherit her house over me?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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Can my mom’s boyfriend inherit her house over me?

I’m not fully sure how the Will is written. However, years ago I wasn’t making good life choices so she changed it so that her boyfriend could live there for as long as needed but the house would be turned over to me as long as I’m doing good. Now, she’s about to pass on and it’s been over 5 years since I got my life together and stopped the bad choices that she was concerned about. Her boyfriend, however, thinks the house will be his and that I’ll have no legal binding to my mom’s house. Can he be awarded full ownership because of this?

Asked on October 4, 2015 under Estate Planning, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1 If her boyfriend is on the title with her e.g. they bought it together, or she put him on the title later as joint tenants with right of survivorship, then the house will automatically become his if she passes before him.
2 Your mother doesn't need to leave the house to her children, so if she has a will and the will leaves it to him, he will inherit it.
3 She also could have given him a "life estate" and left you the "remainder interest." If she did, then he can live there as long as he lives, and you would get the house after he dies. In this case, he'd be obligated to take basic care of the house, to preserve value for you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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